Pro-Palestinian protesters camped out at the Johns Hopkins University for nearly two weeks dismantled a cluster of tents and canopies Sunday after reaching an agreement with university administration.

Under the deal, the university said it will accelerate a process that it had already begun to review its investments, including with fund managers and defense contractors supporting Israeli military action in Gaza. The agreement was announced early Sunday by the protester group Hopkins Justice Collective and separately by Hopkins.

The university also “committed to conclude student conduct proceedings arising out of the encampment, provided the protesters agree not to engage in further disruptions of university activities, including Commencement,” Hopkins spokesman J.B. Bird said in a statement.

Graduation ceremonies at Hopkins are planned for May 23.

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Protesters declined to comment Sunday morning. Hopkins Justice Collective said in a statement that the agreement “represents a step towards Johns Hopkins’ commitment to divest” from Israel.

Pro-Palestinian protesters packed signs into plastic tubs as they decamped after tenting on the lawn of the Johns Hopkins University. (Brenda Wintrode/The Baltimore Banner)

The U.S. has long provided money and weapons to Israel’s military, but calls to curb that flow amid the war in Gaza have grown louder. Hopkins pulls in more Pentagon funding than any other university, receiving $12 billion over the past decade for its research lab in Howard County, the Applied Physics Laboratory.

“Hopkins, with its war profiteering investments and its unique position in the development of weapons systems through the Applied Physics Lab, must remain a target of pressure in the pro-Palestine, anti-war, student movement,” the collective said.

Student protesters across the country have been demanding a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. Brown University and Northwestern University struck deals similar to the one at Hopkins in recent days — agreements to more quickly review investments but no commitment to divest.

Protesters occupying a field at the Johns Hopkins University pack up their encampment after reaching an agreement with school officials. (Brenda Wintrode / The Baltimore Banner)

At Hopkins, students began pitching tents on what’s known as “the Beach” on April 29. The protest has largely been peaceful, and university President Ronald J. Daniels visited the tent encampment as midnight approached on its first day.

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By 9 a.m. Sunday, residents of the encampment had started pulling the blue plastic tarps from their tents and had most of the site broken down before noon. Protesters wearing medical masks and scarves covering their faces folded camping chairs, laid bedsheets out to dry on the grass and made a small hill of pillows and blankets in the center of the site.

As people arrived to help and protesters emerged from their tents, someone called out to the group that granola bars were available in the food tent.

The decampment Sunday attracted onlookers and supporters of the protest. Some wore matching T-shirts that read “FREE Palestine” and met in an open space in the middle of the several dozen tents still standing.

Visitors gathered in the center of the site holding a sign that said “VOTE ‘UNCOMMITTED.’” That’s a movement of Joe Biden’s 2020 voters who say they feel betrayed by his decision to continue funding Israel amid a worsening humanitarian crisis.

The protesters planned to rally Sunday evening on the lawn of the campus in Homewood to “close this chapter of the movement and begin the next,” according to the Hopkins Justice Collective’s statement.

Brenda Wintrode covers state government, agencies and politics. Before joining The Baltimore Banner, Wintrode wrote an award winning series of long form investigations for Wisconsin Watch.

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