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A Wave of Protests Are Erupting On College Campuses Nationwide

A Wave of Protests Are Erupting On College Campuses Nationwide

Student protests over the the Israel-Hamas War have intensified and expanded over the past week across several college campuses including Columbia University, Yale, New York University and the University of Texas at Austin, among others. Police have been called on to several campuses to arrest demonstrators and break up encampments.

Protesters are calling for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, an end to U.S. military assistance for Israel, university divestment from weapons suppliers and other companies profiting from the war, and protections for students and faculty members who have faced disciplinary actions for protesting.

Within the last week, the protests have grown violent from ongoing tension. Organizers have widely disavowed violence against pro-Israel counter-protesters, but many Jewish students have said they feel unsafe on campus after hearing rhetoric they believe is antisemitic.

In response, school administrators and local law enforcement have begun to crack down on the protests. In particular, Columbia University has had an intense and tumultuous week. Following university president Minouche Shafik’s testimony before a U.S. House of Representatives committee on Columbia’s response to protests, students set up an encampment on campus. Over the weekend, more than 100 protesters were arrested for violating unauthorized protests. However, the encampment has not yet disbanded, despite pressure from university administrators.

They’re not the only college cracking down on protests. Yale police arrested more than 60 protesters on Monday, after giving them “several opportunities to leave and avoid arrest,” according to the university. The New York Police Department said officers also arrested 120 people at NYU on Monday because protesters were “interfering with the safety and security of our community.” On Wednesday afternoon, nearly 60 UT students were arrested by Austin police.

While campuses are navigating how to navigate their responses, political leaders are chiming in on the situation. President Joe Biden — who protesters have criticized for aiding Israel — told reporters on Monday that he condemned both “antisemitic protests” and “those who don’t understand what’s going on with the Palestinians.”Additionally, former President Donald Trump (and the current frontrunner for the Republican candidate for the 2024 election) called the campus protest situation “a mess.”

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