Universities across US begin action against pro-Palestine protests on campuses

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Public TV English
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NEW YORK: In the wake of ongoing pro-Palestinian protests in several universities in US, respective authorities have begun taking action against the protesting students and asked police to remove demonstrators from campuses.

Majorly, Columbia University, which has turned into the epicenter of protests, at least 200 students barricaded the University’s entrance to Hamilton Hall, CNN reported.

According to the CNN report, Hamilton Hall is one of the buildings occupied during 1968 student protests erupted over institutional apparatus supporting the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War.

CNN reported that, last overnight, protesters on campus made their way from the West Lawn encampment to Hamilton Hall. Hours earlier, the university announced it had begun suspending students who refused to leave the encampment before 2 pm. Monday deadline.

Whereas in the Chapel Hill campus of the University of North Carolina (UNC), Pro-Palestinian protesters were detained on Tuesday morning after the university sent them a demand to vacate their encampment.

CNN reported citing a video from its affiliate WRAL, which shows police moving in on the encampment, with some people being bound with zip ties. Others were being kept back from the area by a cordon of police.

Separately, at the Portland State University (PSU) officials have asked the city’s police department to help remove dozens of protesters who they said had broken into and occupied a university library on Monday evening, blocking campus safety officers from entering the building.
Between 50 and 75 protesters broke into the library building, said Portland police chief Bob Day. He did not indicate when officers would enter the library to remove the protesters.
At least six protesters were arrested at Tulane University on Monday. Nine people were also arrested in the evening at the University of Florida campus protests in Gainesville, Florida. Earlier in the day, Texas State Police in riot gear arrested at least six people at the University of Texas in Austin.
Officers arrested over 90 people, including 54 students, at a protest encampment on the lawn at Virginia Tech’s Graduate Life Center, according to the school. The demonstration began on Friday and progressed over the weekend.
Earlier, students at Columbia had voted to defy the order to vacate the encampment, which has been a focal point of pro-Palestinian protests on campus.
The action to suspend students at Columbia University comes amid a wave of arrests and tensions at universities across the United States, with demonstrations in support of Palestinians drawing attention and, in some cases, police intervention.
In recent events, additional students were arrested at New York and Yale universities, along with nearly 100 at the University of Southern California, and others at Emory University in Atlanta, and Boston’s Emerson College. At the University of Texas at Austin, police dispersed a similar demonstration using riot gear and horseback. Additionally, 91 individuals, including 54 students, were arrested at Virginia Tech for trespassing after refusing to disperse, the university reported.
While these recent arrests have garnered significant attention, colleges across the US have been employing law enforcement measures, along with academic penalties such as suspensions and, in some cases, expulsion, to manage student protests since Hamas’ October attack on Israel, which resulted in over 1,200 deaths and numerous hostages, according to CNN.
The subsequent Israeli response in Gaza, with a reported death toll of over 34,000 Palestinians according to the health ministry, has intensified deeply entrenched perspectives among students and faculty.
Despite assertions from US students that their methods are peaceful, administrators often view campus protests as disruptive. Some institutions, including Indiana University, George Washington University, and California State Polytechnic University’s Humboldt campus, have used school regulations concerning public spaces to discipline or call for police intervention during demonstrations.
This situation underscores the inherent tension in higher education: balancing the principles of free speech with ensuring student safety, particularly for those of Jewish background who have expressed concerns about rising antisemitism nationally since October 7, occasionally linked with pro-Palestinian campus demonstrations. (ANI)

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