Police clashed with protesters after the American flag was replaced with a Palestinian flag

FOX 13 Tampa

On Tuesday afternoon, the already tense situation escalated after the American flag was lowered and replaced with a Palestinian flag on the main quad, also known as Polk Place.
Twenty seven people were cited for trespassing and released on-site, including 13 UNC students and 17 people not affiliated with the university.
On the main quad around 2 p.m., protesters tore down barricades and took down the American flag on a flag pole in the quad.
Around 2:35 p.m., police officers entered the space in response to the American flag being taken down.
The Palestinian flag was eventually lowered and the American flag raised as officers set up a perimeter around the structure.
That [American] flag will stand here as long am I’m chancellor.”
At one point, the American flag was removed from the pole for a second time.
The American flag was raised back up the pole around 6:30 p.m.


Soon after police started holding pro-Palestinian demonstrators on campus on Tuesday afternoon, there was still chaos at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Following the American flag’s lowering and the Palestinian flag’s replacement on the main quad, also known as Polk Place, on Tuesday afternoon, the already heated situation worsened. It took protestors to destroy the metal barriers that surrounded the quad’s flag pole in order to achieve this.

Along with UNC Interim Chancellor Lee Roberts, dozens of police officers entered the main quad. Emotions were running high as non-mandatory operations were suspended and classes were canceled for the remainder of the day.

WRAL News was on location at UNC-Chapel Hill, where demonstrators opposing the Israel-Hamas war were being ejected by police from an encampment they had set up.

Witnesses reported seeing people being removed by police with zip ties around their wrists. Police were observed dragging one individual.

36 individuals were reportedly taken into custody on Tuesday morning, according to the university, after they disobeyed its orders to leave Polk Place. Twenty-seven people—13 UNC students and 17 non-students—were given trespassing citations and released on the spot. Six people were detained and accused of trespassing, according to the university. Three students were among the six, according to UNC, who were freed with a written commitment to appear in court.

For assaulting a public official, two people are charged. In this case, a warrant stated that a suspect “did resist, delay, and obstruct . unlawfully and freely.”. a public servant by shoving and throwing an officer to the ground. “A police officer from NC State University was the victim of assault.

Roberts issued an announcement on Tuesday morning detailing the steps taken by the university.

“We were saddened that we had to deal with demonstrators this morning who broke both state law and university policies allowing for peaceful protest, many of whom are not Carolina residents.

Our university kept up a positive and healthy conversation with students and visitors who came to our campus to voice their opinions throughout the weekend. Since the North Carolina Constitution declares that “freedom of speech and of the press are two of the great bulwarks of liberty and therefore shall never be restrained,” we have always followed this tradition and practice. “.

Nobody has the right to seriously interfere with the daily operations of the campus, to threaten or harass our students, or to destroy or cause damage to any public property.

This year, previous protests have ended amicably and without any arrests being made. Protest organizers have also been informed of policies during events, as have members of the entire campus on several occasions. We had fruitful discussions with the organizers multiple times over the course of the previous weekend, which permitted the group to proceed with their event while adhering to our reasonable policies regarding timing, decorum, and location.

That was altered on Sunday night when demonstrators abandoned their promise to abide by these rules. Our attempts at a productive discussion were terminated by the group leaders.

Every member of our staff, faculty, and students needs to have their physical safety taken into account. Furthermore, we are concerned about the increasing number of reports of antisemitic remarks, and we vehemently condemn these as well as any other instances of bigotry. “.”.

Early on Tuesday morning, police were seen dismantling the protesters’ camp and throwing tents.

Not long after the first wave of officers broke up the encampment and removed a number of people, more police officers were spotted entering the campus.

On the campus of UNC, demonstrators persisted in spite of police efforts. The crowds were surrounded by police.

UNC police cars were being blocked by demonstrators who tried to stand in front of them, according to university police. Police claimed that after the camp was dispersed, demonstrators shoved them as they tried to enter the South Building.

Following their expulsion from the campus, demonstrators traveled to the Orange County Detention Center in support of the detained. For the day, police officers from neighboring campuses partnered with UNC’s police force.

One protestor declared, “Our action is not over until all of our folks are out of jail.”. “We are going to go offer our students who have been arrested support. “.

A walkout in opposition to the students who were taken into custody was planned on the Wilson steps at noon by UNC Students for Justice in Palestine. The South Building, home of the chancellor’s office, was being approached by a throng.

around two p.m. on the main quad. M. demonstrations in the quad broke down barriers and removed the American flag from a flagpole. It was replaced with a Palestinian flag. As if to protect it, a group gathered around the pole.

Everyone clapped together as the loud music played, and some people joined hands to dance.

Approximately 2:35 p.m. M. as soon as the American flag was taken down, police officers arrived. Officers eventually erected a perimeter around the building, lowering the Palestinian flag and raising the American flag. Chants from protestors said, “Disclose, divest, we won’t stop, we won’t rest.”. Pepper spray was once observed being used by officers.

Roberts followed the officers as they headed toward the quad.

In an interview with the media, Roberts stated, “To take down that flag and put up another flag, no matter what other flag it is, that’s antithetical to who we are and what this university stands for and what we have done for 229 years.”. “Most students on this campus are aware of how to voice their opinions without yelling or going against school rules. For as long as I am chancellor, that [American] flag will remain here. ****.

“It is important to inform the students that a tiny percentage of students may try to cause disruptions, but we will protect them,” Roberts instructed.

An additional time was spent removing the American flag from the pole. An officer seemed to hit the protester’s megaphone’s amplifier during a particularly heated exchange.

It was decided to call off the classes at around three p.m. me. Given that Tuesday was the final day of classes for undergraduates for the semester.

Many of the demonstrators chanted for UNC to sever its connections with Israel and demanded that administrators divulge information about any investments made in businesses with ties to Israel.

According to student Mercy Neal, “UNC needs to divest the funding that is going to Israeli weapons immediately and it needs to disclose the funding that is going to Gaza.”.

The scene had subsided by six o’clock. me. however, maintenance staff added an additional layer of fencing surrounding the flagpole. It was about 6:30 p.m. when the American flag was hoisted back up the mast. M.

There was an emotionally charged day between pro-Israel and pro-Palestine groups on UNC’s campus this past fall. It was declared that the demonstration was a “resistance rally.”. “.

According to local health officials, over 34,000 Palestinians have died in Gaza as a result of Israeli bombardment and ground offensives over the course of nearly seven months. The historic October 11 attacks served as the impetus for the Israel-Hamas conflict. 7 raid into southern Israel, during which terrorists kidnapped and killed about 250 hostages and killed about 1,200 people, the most of whom were civilians. About a hundred hostages and the bodies of over thirty more are reportedly being held by the militants, according to Israel.

Nationwide pro-Palestinian demonstrations have been sparked by demonstrators and students at Columbia University in New York City. Numerous students have been taken into custody.

Police made threats to detain demonstrators who support Palestine.

On Monday, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s campus police announced that they would be apprehending pro-Palestinian demonstrators who were camped out in front of the administration building.

The protest’s student organizer claimed that “you can’t really turn a blind eye to the massive encampment of students, faculty, and community members.”. Despite her desire to remain anonymous, she is a graduate student at UNC.

A social media post by UNC Students for Justice in Palestine requested that everyone pitch in at Polk Place, located at 201 South Road. 34 tents were counted by WRAL News on Monday.

On Monday, demonstrators chanted, “No more money for Israel’s slaughter!”.

They want the university to stop funding Israel and to reveal any holdings it may have.

Requests are inscribed in chalk on the sidewalks that encircle the tent village and painted on signs.

According to UNC sophomore Heidi Kauffman, “seeing such a big cause on campus definitely makes you think a lot more about it.”.

Next, the group moved from Polk Place to the Morehead Planetarium, where former UNC Chancellor Kevin Gusciewisz attended a “Last Lecture” event intended for seniors who were about to graduate. “.

A Jewish student at UNC named Jared Wasserman said that although he can see why the demonstrators began the camp, he thinks the university should concentrate on other issues.

He remarked, “It doesn’t seem like anything is going to happen right now.”.

Holiday King, a freshman at UNC, was also drawn to the display.

King declared, “I support free speech.”. “Free speech is something I wholeheartedly support, but the university needs to do more,”. “.

Daniel Stompel, a junior at UNC, declared, “I’m a Jewish student.”. For me, this gives me a slight sense of unease. “.

The encampment is expected to remain until the university responds to their demands or takes more drastic measures to force them to leave, according to the organizers.

Campers who camp close to the administrative building face the possibility of being arrested by campus police, who also note that tents are not allowed.

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