DePaul’s tent city is the last camp standing as protesters gear up for Democratic convention

A sign declaring the DePaul University quad a “no pig” zone hangs from a tent in the pro-Palestine encampment on May 14, 2024. (Provided)

Update: Chicago police are clearing out the DePaul encampment as of 7 a.m. on Thursday, May 16.

CHICAGO—With the Democratic National Convention just three months away, protest organizers seem to have undertaken a spring training of sorts to prepare for the main event.

As we publish this story on Wednesday evening, the last major pro-Palestinian encampment in the Chicago area is a sizable tent city on the DePaul University quad. Earlier this week, the school’s president said that the administration had reached an “impasse” in its talks with the protesters.

Unlike the University of Chicago and Northwestern University, DePaul does not operate a university police department that can manage the situation, should the school decide to reclaim its quad. And, we’re told CPD leadership has been reticent to get involved in clearing camps after the Art Institute asked police to clear protesters from its property and then decided not to pursue charges once the job was done.

There were indications on Tuesday evening that DePaul planned to clear the camp with CPD officers on standby at sunrise Wednesday. However, cops assigned to the local police district who had been ordered to come into work early on Wednesday were later told to report at their usual times, according to a source.

A portion of the DePaul quad encampment is seen on May 14, 2024. (Provided)

Earlier this week, DePaul published a safety alert after a man was attacked in the quad area last Thursday evening.

“The individual, non-affiliated with DePaul, was approached in the Quad area off Fullerton and Seminary by a group of males who took his flag,” said the bulletin, which classified the case as a battery. “The group fled the scene and headed eastbound on Fullerton. The victim was not injured and did not require medical treatment.”

The incident was caught on video that circulated briefly on social media. DePaul did not reveal that the man who was battered had been carrying an Israeli flag.

Finally…

Nearly four years after he was caught on video hitting a Chicago police officer with a skateboard during a large confrontation with police in the Loop, Jeremey Johnson has pleaded guilty to a felony.

According to court records, Johnson spent the better part of three years on electronic monitoring before Judge John Lyke ordered the device removed last June.

Lyke sentenced Johnson to two years of probation after Johnson pleaded guilty to aggravated battery of a peace officer last week, court records show. Prosecutors dropped seven additional aggravated battery charges.

‘Anti-fascist’ pleads guilty

A New York City man who allegedly damaged merchandise worth $16,100 during an “anti-fascism” demonstration last year at the Gucci Store, 900 North Michigan, pleaded guilty on Wednesday. Todd Fine, 43, walked down the store’s aisles, knocking purses and bags to the floor, prosecutors claimed. At one point, he allegedly refused to leave and threatened to come back every day to break the store’s windows.

During a bail hearing last March, his lawyer said he is a Harvard University graduate whose actions were “part of a First Amendment demonstration against Gucci’s partnership with a crypto organization which has fascism ties.”

Judge Anjana Hansen sentenced him to two years of “second chance probation” and ordered him to pay restitution of $16,100.07, according to court records.

Original reporting you’ll see nowhere else, paid for by our readers. Click here to support our work.

About CWBChicago 6713 Articles
CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com