Tuesday 23 April 2024 - 07:18

US: Rage Escalates As Dozens of Pro-Palestinian Protesters Arrested in Several Universities

Story Code : 1130521
US: Rage Escalates As Dozens of Pro-Palestinian Protesters Arrested in Several Universities
Video shows officers in riot gear scuffling with demonstrators, after the police began getting rid of equipment and arresting protesters for violating an order to disperse.

Dozens of the protesters – including students and faculty – were arrested, according to local media reports.

This comes as academics and scholars have vowed to boycott Columbia University over its repressive policies against protesting students in shocking scenes that have sparked a wider student movement for Palestine across the US.

Over the past 24 hours, student encampments have mushroomed in colleges - on the east coast, in particular - with more anticipated to begin over the next few days.

Student encampments demanding divestment from companies involved in “Israel's” occupation of Palestinian land and "genocide" in Gaza have popped up at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology [MIT]; Tufts and Emerson in Boston; New York University and The New School in New York City; Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennessee; Yale University in Connecticut; University of California-Berkeley; The University of Michigan; Washington University in St Louis; and The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In a statement, the students at Tufts University said they had, in conjunction with students at Emerson and MIT, set up encampments on their campuses "as a part of a growing national student movement for divestment from genocide and apartheid".

"Our presence on campus, particularly in the Gaza solidarity encampment space, is dedicated to coalition building and meaningful solidarity organizing that furthers our campaign for institutional divestment. Engagement with the tenting demonstration is encouraged in all forms, but any efforts in the space must center Gaza and Palestinians’ material conditions and leverage our power and privilege to divest from their oppression," students at Tufts University in Boston.

The Coalition for Palestinian Liberation at Tufts, made up of several groups, including Tufts Students for Justice in Palestine, said the demonstrations will continue.

"Until our institutions disclose their investments and divest from all companies that aid and abet the genocide in Palestine, we will continue organizing to disrupt business as usual."

The spread of protests to several campuses around the country comes as several academics and groups have released statements distancing themselves from Columbia University over its decision to call the police onto campus to arrest students as well as mass suspensions of students for refusing to end their protests for Palestine.

At least 108 students from Columbia were arrested on Thursday, when the university's administrator, Nemat Minouche Shafik, called the New York Police Department to enter campus and dismantle an encampment on the main lawns that had started a day prior.

Around 85 students from Columbia University and Barnard College have since been suspended for taking part in the direct action. Similarly, at Yale University, 47 students were arrested on Monday morning, local time, for refusing to dismantle their camp.

The protest that began in the early hours of 17 April at Columbia University, comprising just over 100 students, mushroomed into a movement of hundreds after the arrests. Students spontaneously made their way to the lawns and immediately set up a new camp.