Police break up pro-Palestinian protests at several US universities

The Independent

About 33 people, including students and faculty members, were among those arrested and charged with trespass, the school said.
In Cambridge, Massachusetts, police in riot gear arrived at MIT around 4 a.m., encircled the camp and gave protesters about 15 minutes to leave.
A crowd outside the camp began chanting pro-Palestinian slogans but was dispersed shortly after.
The school said that police vehicles were spiked, and that rocks and water bottles were thrown at officers and university staff.
The Associated Press has recorded at least 75 instances since April 18 in which arrests were made at U.S. campus protests.
Before removing the encampment, MIT earlier in the week had started suspending dozens of students, meaning they wouldn’t be able to take part in academic activities or commencement.
They can’t arrest the movement,” said Quinn Perian, an undergraduate student at MIT and organizer for MIT Jews for Ceasefire.
“We are going to continue and won’t back down until MIT agrees to cut ties with the Israeli military.

NEUTRAL

Few hours after using tear gas on protestors and evicting a comparable camp at the University of Arizona, police made dozens of arrests as pro-Palestinian protest encampments were taken down on Friday at the Universities of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Around daybreak at Penn, protesters were driven out of an encampment that had been there for more than two weeks by Philadelphia and campus police. Protesters, according to school officials, were given warnings and the option to leave without being arrested. The school reported that 33 persons, including instructors and students, were among those detained and accused of trespassing.

At four in the morning, MIT was visited by police in riot gear in Cambridge, Massachusetts. me. surrounded the camp and offered the demonstrators a fifteen-minute window to evacuate. The university president said that the ten remaining students had been placed under arrest. Pro-Palestinian chants were heard from a crowd outside the camp, but they were quickly dispersed.

The day before the university’s main commencement ceremony, on Thursday, protesters at the University of Arizona in Tucson were targeted by riot police wearing tear gas masks, which they then used to dismantle an encampment consisting of wooden and plastic barriers. The school reported that rocks and water bottles were thrown at police officers and university employees, and that police cars had been rigged with explosives. According to a university spokesman, two persons were taken into custody.

Robert Robbins, the president of the university, announced that Friday night’s commencement will proceed as planned.

Additionally, 13 people were taken into custody by police on Thursday night at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces for refusing to leave a vandalized and damaged building. According to school spokesperson Amanda Bradford, the charges ranged from misdemeanor trespass to felonies, including battery on a peace officer. Hadley Hall was cleared out and opened on Friday.

Standoffs with demonstrators on campuses across the US and Europe have escalated tensions. While some colleges have allowed the protests, others have clamped down hard. Due to worries about disturbances to campus life and safety, some people have started to lose patience and call the police.

At Columbia University in New York City, the protest movement got underway almost three weeks ago. Since then, it has spread across college campuses across the country, with protestors usually aiming to raise awareness of the casualties resulting from the Israel-Hamas conflict or demanding that their universities sever ties with Israel or businesses that assist in its armed campaigns.

Since April 18, the Associated Press has documented at least 75 incidents in which arrests were made at U. S. demonstrations on campus. There have been about 2,900 arrests at 57 colleges and universities. The statistics are derived from AP reports as well as statements from law enforcement and educational institutions.

At MIT, the action was taken a few days after police made an initial attempt to disperse the camp, only to have demonstrators smash through barricades and rebuild the encampment, which consists of roughly a dozen tents in the center of Cambridge campus.

Earlier in the week, MIT began suspending dozens of students, preventing them from participating in commencement or academic events, before dismantling the encampment.

Protesters insisted that the decision would not abate their demands that MIT sever all connections to the Israeli military. A number of Jewish students staged counterprotests close to the encampment because it had been there for weeks and particularly infuriated them.

We will only get stronger as a result of this. According to Quinn Perian, an MIT undergraduate and MIT Jews for Ceasefire organizer, “They can’t arrest the movement.”. “Until MIT consents to sever relations with the Israeli military, we will not relent and will not stop. Instead of ending their complicity in the genocide occurring in Gaza, MIT would prefer to suspend and arrest a few students. “.

In an attempt to reconcile her concerns for the “safety of our community” with her recognition of the suffering in Gaza, MIT President Sally Kornbluth issued a warning on Monday that the camp would have to be dismantled.

She stated in a letter verifying the arrests on Friday that it is her duty “to ensure that the campus is physically safe and operating for everyone dot.”. and that everyone is at ease voicing their opinions. It became increasingly difficult to fulfill all of these responsibilities because of the encampment, the woman wrote.

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