Over 100 People Arrested at 2 More US Universities Amid Wave of Student-led Protests Against War in Gaza

United States North America Higher Education News by Erudera News Apr 25, 2024

University of Texas at Austin

Over 100 people were arrested on Wednesday at the University of Southern California (USC) and the University of Texas (UT) during protests against Israel’s war on Gaza.

A wave of student-led protests against the Israel-Hamas war has broken out across US campuses in the last few days. According to authorities, 93 people at USC’s Los Angeles campus were taken into custody and at least 34 at UT in Austin, Erudera.com reports.

The movement initially started at Columbia University in New York last week, where protesters called on the university to cut financial ties with Israel and separate themselves from Israeli companies that support the genocide in Palestine.

Hundreds of students gathered at UT Austin on Wednesday to march towards the university’s main lawn, intending to establish an encampment. However, the university reiterated that it would not tolerate disruption and called the police to remove protesters.

The Republican governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, said that protesters should be sent in prison and that any students participating in, what he labelled as “hate-filled and anti-semitic protests,” should be expelled from the university.

USC, on the other hand, notified on X, formerly Twitter, that the protest had ended and the institution would be closed until further notice.

“Students, faculty, staff, and people with business on campus may enter with proper identification,” the university said.

Last week, more than 100 students were arrested at Columbia University. Meanwhile, at least 47 students at Yale University ended in arrests early Monday. Police also arrested another 120 protesters at New York University (NYU), including students, staff and others.

The New York Police Department said that 116 people were released after receiving summonses for criminal trespass, while the remaining four were charged with trespass.

NYU issued a statement expressing concerns about the community's safety, emphasizing that many of the protesters were not affiliated with the university.

“We witnessed disorderly, disruptive, and antagonizing behavior that has interfered with the safety and security of our community, and that demonstrated how quickly a demonstration can get out of control or people can get hurt,” NYU spokesperson John Beckman said.

Due to these developments, Columbia University moved online for the remainder of the spring semester, citing heightened concerns for safety on campus.

At least 34,262 Palestinians, most women and children, have been killed since Hamas’s October 7 attacks, and 77,229 others have been wounded.

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