BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A 37-day student sit-in ended with seven arrests on the Johns Hopkins University campus Wednesday.
The school asked the police for help, regaining its administration building after a spokesperson said the ongoing sit-in created safety issues.
The protestors reportedly declined the school’s offer for amnesty in exchange for their immediate exit.
“When that demonstration turns dangerous, or creates dangerous situations, we have an obligation as a university to act. And, that’s what happened. We’re talking about doors being chained in buildings, and completely sealed,” said Jarron Jackson with Johns Hopkins University.
In front of the barricades, holding a crowd of chanting students and onlookers, firefighters attempted to forcibly open the doors of Garland Hall early Wednesday morning.
They finally sawed through the gates holding the front entrance shut- allowing officers to enter and arrest five protestors inside and two others outside who laid down in front of police vans.
Chip Molter agreed to leave on hi sown.
“I agreed to the amnesty, and the last step I felt I could do a better job telling about what I witnessed in there than go to jail,” Molter said.
This is the latest clash in the more than year-long battle between some JHU students and their school.
The activists do not want an armed police force on campus, and do want the University to cut ties with federal immigration authorities.
“This is the moral thing to do for Baltimore and for Hopkins. They’re not listening, so of course we had to escalate,” said Rasha Anayah, a JHU student.
Some of the protestors called into question the number of officers brought in to make Wednesday’s arrests.
“In this instance, we gave the students a number of warnings. We gave the students full opportunity to withdraw without charge. We were very sensitive and respectful of the students,” said City Solicitor Andre Davis.
A university spokesperson released a statement that said:
“On May 1, a group of protesters at Johns Hopkins, including both students and outside activists, significantly escalated an ongoing month-long protest by forcing the evacuation of students and staff from Garland Hall, the university’s main administration building, and chaining shut all exterior doors.”
The statement continued on to say that while “the university has gone to great lengths to support protest and free expression on campus,” the protest had become “a major safety risk and severely disrupted university services.”