Rep. Omar joins pro-Palestinian protest at University of Minnesota

Nine people were arrested Tuesday morning after a group of students set up a pro-Palestinian encampment on the University of Minnesota campus.

Social media posts showed several tents were set up outside Walter Library, located on the East Bank campus. Police arrived at the scene and appeared to start taking down signs as students were chanting. The protesters later dispersed after authorities arrived, and the tents were taken down just before 8 a.m.   

A University of Minnesota spokesperson said the group was asked to disperse by 7 a.m., but nine people chose to stay and were arrested.  

The protest is similar to what has been seen at college campuses across the country. At campuses like NYU and Yale, protests have led to arrests or canceled classes. U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar's daughter was one of more than 100 demonstrators who were arrested on Thursday at Columbia University during a pro-Palestinian protest encampment. 

The U of M released the following statement: 

"In light of protests around the country and this morning’s activity on the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus, it’s important to note that the U of M supports and respects free speech through lawful protest. As a public research university, demonstrations where groups express diverse views and opinions occur regularly on our campus. We support the rights of all members of our University community to speak and demonstrate peacefully.

"Early Tuesday morning, the U of M Department of Public Safety received reports that a group had established an encampment on the north end of the Northrop Mall on the Twin Cities campus. UMPD arrived shortly after 6 a.m. and informed those present they were in violation of both University policy and state trespassing law. Tents are not allowed on any University property for any purpose without a permit. In addition, Public Safety has not allowed any encampments, tents, fires, or other types of encampment living arrangements on any University properties or in buildings. The group was asked to disperse by 7 a.m. and told they would be arrested if they chose to stay past that time. Some of those present chose to disperse and continue peacefully protesting, but nine chose to remain and were arrested without incident."

Rep. Omar joins protesters

In the afternoon hours on Tuesday, protesters returned to the University of Minnesota, setting up a new encampment outside the Coffman Memorial Union.

Rep. Ilhan Omar joined protesters Tuesday evening, speaking during the rally.

The appearance comes days after Omar's daughter Isra Hirsi was arrested at the ongoing protests at Columbia University. That same day, Hirsi was also suspended by Barnard College due to the protests.

As of 9 p.m. on Tuesday, the protest outside the University of Minnesota remained ongoing.