Portland State University closes campus after anti-Israel protesters occupy, vandalize library

Portland State University has announced its campus will be closed Wednesday as images are emerging of the graffiti and destruction that anti-Israel protesters have caused inside its main library. 

Photos show messages including “We’ll stop occupying this building when Israel stops occupying Palestine” and “no more business as usual” spray-painted on the walls of the Millar Library on the downtown Portland, Oregon campus. 

KOIN reports that the building’s fire alarm system has been ripped out. It also showed video of a pile of chairs and furniture blocking a stairwell inside the building, glass shattered in one area and a tent set up in another. 

“PSU Campus will be CLOSED Wednesday 5/1 due to ongoing incident at library,” Portland State University says on its website. 


Portland State University library graffiti

Graffiti is pictured on a wall as pro-Palestinian demonstrators have occupied the Millar Library on the campus of Portland State University, in Portland, Oregon. (John Rudoff/AFP via Getty Images)

On Tuesday, PSU President Ann Cudd, who has requested the assistance of the Portland Police Bureau to clear out the building, released a video message containing a plea to the anti-Israel protesters to end their occupation. 

“I’ve heard your demands and I know your concerns. They’re very important concerns about the terrible war in Gaza right now. I’m willing to talk to you, to enter into a constructive dialogue with you,” she said. “We cannot, however, allow the continued occupation of Millar Library. That’s just plain and simple.” 

“We want you to come out of the library. I’m asking you to please, especially the students, please, voluntarily leave the library, I want to talk to you,” Cudd added. 


Barricade inside Portland State University library

A door is barricaded against possible police entry as pro-Palestinian demonstrators have occupied the Millar Library on the campus of Portland State University. (John Rudoff/AFP via Getty Images)

Cudd said in a statement posted to PSU’s website that she is “now very concerned” about the safety of the people occupying the library building. 

“Security measures are in place at PSU buildings, including limited or no card access. Faculty, staff and students are asked to stay off campus until further notice,” she also said. 

Police on Monday night had estimated that 50 to 75 people are currently inside the building. 

“With the breaching of the library and the fortification going on at the library, this has now become a criminal event and it’s no longer considered to be a public order or free speech event and requires a different type of response,” Portland Police Bureau Chief Bob Day said.  

Day added that police are working with PSU and its law enforcement “to develop a plan to best approach the situation in the hopes of deescalating and resolving this with no arrests or no amount of force.”  

PSU anti-Israel demonstration

The president of Portland State University says protesters are now occupying its main library. (KPTV)

Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt said he expects felony charges to be filed against the protesters, including burglary and felony criminal mischief, along with other possible misdemeanors. 

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