Graffiti in UW-Madison building criticizes incident where UWPD officer shoved pro-Palestine protester

Graffiti criticizing the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s response to a Tuesday incident in which a campus police officer shoved a pro-Palestine protester was found in the sixth floor women’s bathroom in Mosse Humanities Thursday. 

“When students tried to protest, they were denied their rights to free speech. Furthermore, the UWPD assaulted two protesters, pushing one to the wall and throwing another to the concrete,” the graffiti read. 

Phrases often used in pro-Palestine discourse, like “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” “Glory to the martyrs” and “Free Palestine” were included in the graffiti.

Arrows pointing to a toilet bowl were marked with “where Israel belongs.” 

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Graffiti found in the Mosse Humanities Building sixth floor women’s restroom.

Earlier this week, a video posted to social media depicted a UWPD officer pushing a pro-Palestine demonstrator to the ground during a career fair. 

UWPD spokesperson Marc Lovicott told The Daily Cardinal via email that officers made multiple requests for the protesters to leave following an attempted disruption of the event and attempting to bring “items that are not permitted” into the Mechanical Engineering building.

“At around 4:30 p.m., while officers were in the process of detaining one individual for attempted disruption, a second protester rushed the officers from behind and attempted to enter the building,” Lovicott said. “The individual was physically blocked by a UWPD officer, which caused the individual to be brought to the ground.”

The video, posted by UW-Madison anti-colonial group Mecha de UW-Madison, shows a UWPD officer back up before moving forward and shoving a stationary protester to the ground.

Parts of the graffiti found Thursday criticized the career fair for hosting companies that supply military arms to Israel.

“This school cares more about their genocidal profits than both the moral consequences for their engineering students and the safety + rights of students at large,” the graffiti read.

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Graffiti criticizing the UW-Madison Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin was found in the same bathroom earlier this month.

A Feb. 7 email from UW-Madison art department chair Leslie Smith to department students said sixth and seventh floor bathrooms would be closed after “unforeseen circumstances.” Graffiti saying “f-ck Chancellor Mnookin” was photographed in the bathroom stall on Feb. 8.

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Anna Kleiber

Anna Kleiber is an arts editor for The Daily Cardinal. She also reports on state politics and campus news. Follow her on Twitter at @annakleiber03.

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