A month-long student protest at Johns Hopkins University over the university’s contracts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and plans for a private police force ended Wednesday when police broke through a locked campus building and arrested seven people, the Baltimore Sun reports.
The sit-in began April 3 at the university’s Garland Hall and escalated into a building lockdown this month, when students chained doors shut and forced the building to close.
Two undergraduate students, two graduate students and three community members were arrested, police said.
The university president and provost on Tuesday wrote an open letter describing the lockdown as a “forcible occupation” and a violation of criminal law, offering amnesty to students who left the building.
“The university has gone to great lengths to support protest and free expression on campus, but the occupation of Garland Hall became a major safety risk and severely disrupted university services,” a university spokesperson said in a statement Wednesday.
Last weekend, the students and Johns Hopkins President Ronald Daniels exchanged heated messages, with Daniels calling the protest “troubling and untenable” and the protestors responding that Daniels had deceived the campus community about the conditions in the building.
The student want the university to cancel plans for a private police force, an initiative approved this session by the Maryland General Assembly, as well as an end to contracts with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Johns Hopkins, which bills itself as “America’s First Research University,” has a total graduate and undergraduate enrollment over over 23,000.