Militarized police deployed on the Penn campus
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Militarized police deployed on the Penn campus

To: Gov. Shapiro

From: A verified voter in Philadelphia, PA

May 10

I have held you in high esteem throughout your campaign and since your inauguration as our governor. I am generally very proud that Pennsylvania elected someone who cares about human rights and holds to his moral compass. Your decision to authorize militarized police to the Penn campus to remove a group of students and faculty protesting a genocide in Gaza has shocked and disturbed me.   The fact that the Israeli nation, created in response to the Holocaust, is now perpetrating a genocide is abhorrent and shameful to me. Everything about your campaign and your governance suggests you also uphold the sanctity of human life and dignity and oppose the immoral war being waged against Palestine in a disproportionate response to the atrocious terrorist attacks on October 7.   My Jewish upbringing taught me that peaceful protest and activism in solidarity with oppressed people are core principles in the ongoing fight for justice. As a Penn faculty member, I was devastated to receive emergency texts warning us to avoid the campus due to police activity this morning. Penn is a bastion for the exchange of ideas, one of the oldest institutions in the country, and now I feel unsafe on my own campus, knowing that police in riot gear will be deployed to dismantle protests that inconvenience the Penn community in the name of seeking justice for Gazan civilians. The rhetoric from our Penn interim leaders is dismaying in tone but not surprising, as I know they are beholden to wealthy donors applying pressure and weaponizing anti-Zionism as antisemitism. What was surprising was seeing you throw your full support behind the Penn administration in authorizing this action.

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