Ahead of graduation, protesters demand Israel ties be cut

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Protests are roiling college campuses nationwide as schools with graduation ceremonies next month face demands they cut financial ties to Israel because of the Israel-Hamas war.
About 275 people were arrested on Saturday at various campuses including Indiana University at Bloomington, Arizona State University and Washington University in St. Louis.
The plight of students has become a central part of protests, with both the students and a growing number of faculty demanding amnesty for protesters.
Last week the school announced the cancelation of its main graduation event, a day after more than 90 protesters were arrested by police in riot gear.
MISSOURI Washington University in St. Louis locked some campus buildings and arrested protesters Saturday.
In a statement, the university said more than 100 people — including 23 students and four university employees — were arrested on suspicion of trespassing.
Massachusetts State Police said about 102 protesters were arrested and will be charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct.
Israel and its supporters have branded the university protests as antisemitic, while critics of Israel say it uses such allegations to silence opponents.

NEUTRAL

Demands that colleges sever their financial ties to Israel due to the Israel-Hamas conflict are igniting protests on college campuses across the country as graduation ceremonies are scheduled for next month.

Though there was little activity on many campuses over the weekend, on Sunday at the University of California, Los Angeles, protesters opposing the issue pushed and yelled at one another. On Saturday, about 275 persons were taken into custody at several campuses, such as Arizona State University, Indiana University at Bloomington, and Washington University in St. Louise. Since April 18, when New York police broke up a pro-Palestinian protest camp at Columbia University and detained over 100 protesters, the total number of arrests made nationwide has been close to 900.

After that, students have taken up residence in dozens of pro-Palestinian camps across the nation, leading administrators to take a variety of actions, including suspending students, making arrests and filing criminal charges, or just making repeated pleas for them to leave. As more faculty members and students call for the pardon of protesters, the predicament of students has come to dominate demonstrations. Whether the suspensions and court records will follow the students into adulthood is at question.

There have been mostly symbolic votes of no confidence in the leadership of universities in Texas, Georgia, and California that have been started or passed by faculty members.

President Joe Biden “knows that there are very strong feelings,” according to White House national security spokesperson John Kirby, but he will defer to local authorities to handle the protest management.

During an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” Kirby stated, “People should have the freedom to publicly express their opinions, but it must be peaceful.”. “.

Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican Leader, described the situation as “dangerous” and attributed the fault to college administrators in an interview that aired on Sunday.

Furthermore, there is antisemitism, which is intolerable. On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” he stated, “I’m shocked to see that in this country.”. “.

HOW IT ORIGINATED.

The university said in a statement on Saturday night that students and administrators at Columbia University in New York City have begun talks after the university’s early protests sparked pro-Palestinian demonstrations across the nation.

Bringing back police “at this time” would be counterproductive, the school stated in an email to students. Columbia has set a number of deadlines for protesters to leave the encampment, which they have missed.

Students strolled among the dozens of vibrant tents that are still standing on Sunday.

QUALIFIED AMERICA.

Before hundreds of protestors on both sides joined an increasing crowd on Sunday near the University of California, Los Angeles, where pro-Palestinian students have been camped out all night, police had erected barricades. A “Stand in Support of Jewish Students” rally was planned by counterprotesters, who claimed their purpose was to “stand up against hatred and antisemitism.”. “.

In contrast, the University of Southern California declared on Sunday that it was open following its closure the previous day due to disruptions and vandalism.

Following its denial of the valedictorian’s request to give a commencement speech—the student had openly backed the Palestinian cause—USC came under fire. Afterwards, the keynote address by director Jon M. Chu was canceled by the administrators. The school declared last week that its main graduation ceremony would not go forward, one day after police in riot gear had arrested over ninety protestors.

On Saturday, the state’s northernmost university, California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt, was ordered to undergo a “enforced hard closure.”. The pro-Palestinian protesters were still occupying two halls. According to the school, the cost of the occupation was estimated to be in the millions and included damage from “theft, vandalism, and graffiti.”.

Missouri.

Washington University, located in St. On Saturday, Louis detained demonstrators and locked down several campus buildings. Images circulated of protesters wearing masks linking arms to obstruct uniformed police attempts to remove them.

Twenty-three students and four staff members were among the more than 100 persons detained on trespassing charges, the university said in a statement. The president of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen reported on social media that the demonstration was peaceful “until the police came in like an ambush” while she was there. “.

Jill Stein, the presidential candidate for the Green Party, stated on social media that she and two of her campaign managers were among those detained.

Protesters “did not have good intentions on our campus and that this demonstration had the potential to get out of control and become dangerous,” the university said in a statement defending the action. “.

Three police officers were injured in the statement, and some of the arrested also face charges of assault and resisting arrest. These wounds include a groin injury, a broken finger, and a serious concussion.

“Heavy-handed” was how the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Missouri chapter described the arrests. “.

Massachusetts Commonwealth.

Encampment on Northeastern University campus was cleared on Saturday by Boston police wearing riot gear.

Approximately 102 protestors were detained, according to the Massachusetts State Police, and will face charges of trespassing and disorderly conduct.

According to a statement from Northeastern, antisemitic remarks, such as “kill the Jews,” had been made during the two-day-old protest, which had been “infiltrated by professional organizers” unaffiliated with the university.

Dismissing the university’s account, the student organization Huskies for a Free Palestine said in a statement that no student protesters had “repeated the disgusting hate speech,” and that the slurs had been directed at counterprotesters. “.

While claiming their event was peaceful, students at the Boston protest said a counterprotester tried to incite hate speech.

US Universities and the War in Israel-Hamas.

In reaction to Israel’s offensive in Gaza, nationwide campus protests got underway. On October, Hamas launched a lethal attack on southern Israel. 7, when terrorists kidnapped and killed roughly 250 people, the majority of whom were civilians. Israel began an offensive in Gaza with the goal of eliminating Hamas. As a result of the conflict, the Gaza Strip’s health ministry reports that Israel has killed over 34,000 Palestinians there.

The university demonstrations have been labeled as antisemitic by Israel and its allies, while opponents of Israel claim that Israel uses accusations of this kind to intimidate opponents. The organizers of the protests, some of whom are Jewish, claim that despite some protesters being caught on camera making violent threats or antisemitic remarks, this is a peaceful movement supporting Palestinian rights and opposing the war.

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