Pro-Palestine protesters have defaced a statue of George Washington on the George Washington University campus in Washington, D.C.  

The statue is draped in a Palestinian flag, while a black and white scarf is wrapped around the statue’s neck. Stickers reading “End the Genocide Free Palestine,” “The Students United Will Never Be Divided,” and “Anti-Fascist Action” are dotted around Washington’s bronze body. A pink sticker reading “Rise Love Resist” covers Washington’s face. “Genocidal Warmongering University” is written in paint across the granite base of the statue and a portion of the statue’s plaque.  

The anti-Israel protest began Thursday.

Dozens of tents litter University Yard on campus around the statue where students are working on laptops, taking naps, and talking in small groups. Some tents sit empty and appeared open for students to take up residence.  

The protest was calm late Monday morning, but was intense around 1 a.m. Eastern Monday morning when students tore down the metal barricades authorities had in place around the encampment. The barricades now sit in the center of the encampment with two Palestinian flags waving over the pile.  

In a statement Monday morning, the university said “protesters from the encampment demonstration located adjacent to GW property breached and dismantled the barriers used to secure GW’s University Yard. This group of approximately 200 protesters from across the DMV, including professional organizers, activists, and university students, have joined the unauthorized encampment on our campus.”  

The statement went on to warn that the removal of the barricades around the encampment “is an egregious violation of community trust and goes far beyond the boundaries of free expression and the right to protest.”  

The university told the public it is “committed to implementing the safest resolution possible,” adding that “additional security resources” have been arranged to “respond appropriately to this escalation.”  

About a half dozen police officers were visible at the encampment just before noon Monday.