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Report from Yale University Protest Encampment 

Yale University quad with a sign "Gaza Plaza" with students protesting for Palestine.


On the ground at Yale, April 20, 2024.    Photo:

Over the last week, dozens of Yale students, many from the Divinity School, have been gathering in the central plaza at Yale—demanding Yale divest itself of all investments associated with weapons production. The protests were initially in connection with a Board of Trustees meeting. But when word spread through the crowd late Thursday of the arrests at the Columbia student encampment, the Yale students declared their occupation to be in solidarity with Columbia students. And decided to set up their own tent encampment!

Starting Friday, visitors and others were greeted with a placard “Welcome to Gaza Plaza" and chants of “From Columbia to Yale, We Shall Not Be Moved.” Banners reading “Jews for Ceasefire” flew over the rally and the protest refocused to opposition to Israeli genocide against Palestinians (for more see Yalies4Palestine).

Over the weekend, the protest continued to grow. Groups of student musicians scheduled to perform at a dinner honoring the outgoing Yale president canceled their performances to join (and perform for) the protesters. Yale international student speakers addressed the protest; a South African student sang Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come." On Friday, teach-ins started taking place on the plaza, including one where dozens of students were discussing the historical experience of the anti-Vietnam War movement. 

By Saturday evening, there were some 150 protesters. At 10:30 p.m., two Yale deans came into the encampment with bullhorns, telling students that if they didn’t leave by 11:30 p.m., they would be subject to disciplinary action, including threats to withhold diplomas from seniors. This heightened the determination of the students, who began texting friends and fellow students. At 11:30 p.m., when students were supposed to disperse, the protest had grown to more than 500. And they received a statement of support from various faculty opposing any disciplinary measures threatened by the administration.

Midnight at Yale… waiting on a possible eviction, April 20, 2024.


Midnight at Yale… waiting on a possible eviction    Photo:

The encampment stayed active well into the night, with different circles of students debating the pathway forward. One group marched around the perimeter to ensure the security of the encampment. 

Several revcoms from Boston arrived on Saturday, and were joined by someone from New Haven, distributing various materials, including copies of Stand with and Defend Columbia Encampment Protesters from Revolution Books, NYC and the Revcom Corps for the Emancipation of Humanity, NYC. They were welcomed by students, who raised questions about whether revolution could actually happen in the U.S., with some arguing that a dystopia was more likely.

RevComs set up a little “table” at the Yale protest, April 20, 2024.


RevComs set up a little “table” at the Yale protest, April 20, 2024.    Photo:

Saturday Night Live at Yale University quad, protest for Gaza.


Saturday Night at Yale.    Photo

Despite warnings and threats from the Yale administration, including of possible arrest of participating students if the encampment continues into the school week, organizers are continuing to push forward with the protest.

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From the genocide in Gaza, to the growing threat of world war between nuclear powers, to escalating environmental devastation… the capitalist-imperialist system ruling over us is a horror for billions around the world and is tearing up the fabric of life on earth. Now the all-out battle within the U.S. ruling class, between fascist Republicans and war criminal Democrats, is coming to a head—likely during, or before, the coming elections—ripping society apart unlike anything since the Civil War. 

Bob Avakian (BA), revolutionary leader and author of the new communism, has developed a strategy to prepare for and make revolution. He’s scientifically analyzed that this is a rare time when an actual revolution has become more possible, and has laid out the sweeping vision, solid foundation and concrete blueprint for “what comes next,” in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America

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