Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Over 1,600 arrests at student-led Palestine protests on 30 US campuses: Report

The Associated Press news agency reported that police made arrests at least 38 times on US campuses since April 18, resulting in more than 1,600 people being arrested at 30 universities and colleges over protests calling for an end to Israel’s war on Gaza.

Officers took protesters into custody late Tuesday after Columbia University called in police to end the pro-Palestinian occupation on the New York campus. Recalling the 1968 anti-Vietnam war protests at Columbia, police deployed an armoured vehicle with a bridging mechanism to gain entry to the Hamilton Hall building.

Students had been occupying the building since Monday night and also renamed it “Hind’s Hall” after the killing of six-year-old Hind Rajab, who was killed along with her family by Israeli forces in Gaza earlier this year.

In the early hours of May 1, a pro-Israel group unleashed a violent attack on a student encampment on the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) campus calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and university divestment from companies profiting from Israeli apartheid. At least 15 protesters suffered injuries, and the slow response by authorities drew criticism from political leaders as well as Muslim students and advocacy groups.

Tension remains high at UCLA where police have deployed in force. UCLA’s administration released a statement condemning the “horrific acts of violence” against the encampment.

Police at Northern Arizona University arrested 24 protesters, 22 of whom were NAU students. The university also placed the organization, Students for Justice in Palestine, on interim suspension because of alleged violations of school policies.

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