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US University Gaza Protests: Unrest and Police Response Across Campuses

US University Gaza Protests

Anti-Gaza war protests at American universities are on the rise. Police clear the area or may take more action

The police deployed a large number of forces on American university campuses to forcibly disperse protests against the Israel-Hamas war, leading to clashes and arrests at various universities. The presence of police officers at prestigious universities like UCLA and Columbia has sparked debate over the necessity of such measures for campus safety.

The protests, in response to the high death toll in Israel’s war in Gaza, have been ongoing since April, with students criticizing the police tactics and university administrators struggling to balance free speech rights with concerns of criminal activity and hate speech. President Biden’s support for Israel has further fueled the protests, with demonstrators trying to navigate a delicate balance amidst escalating tensions.

Key Concepts

  • Police deployed on American university campuses to disperse protests against the Israel-Hamas war.
  • Clashes and arrests occurred at various universities, leading to frustration among students.
  • The presence of police officers at prestigious universities like UCLA and Columbia sparked debate over campus safety.
  • About 300 arrests were made at Columbia University and the City University of New York during protests.
  • Some students criticized police tactics as “brutal and aggressive.”
  • Protests in response to the high death toll in Israel’s war in Gaza have been ongoing since April.
  • University administrators face challenges in balancing free speech rights with concerns of criminal activity, anti-Semitism, and hate speech.
  • President Joe Biden’s support for Israel has fueled protests on campuses.
  • White House press secretary condemned chaos caused by a small group of protesting students.
  • President Trump expressed support for Colombian police response to protests.
  • Conflict in Gaza began with an attack by Palestinian Hamas militants on Israel.
  • Ministry of Health in Hamas-controlled areas reported over 34,500 people killed in Israeli retaliatory attacks, the majority being women and children.

The police deployed a large number of police forces on American university campuses on Wednesday (May 1) to forcibly disperse protests against the war between Israel and Hamas that have lasted for many weeks since April. From the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) on the West Coast, Columbia University and City University of New York (CUNY) on the East Coast, the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Midwest, to the University of Texas at Dallas in the South and the University of Arizona in the Southwest, there were police clearances and Demonstrators were arrested.

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Dozens of police cars patrolled the UCLA campus in response to violent clashes that broke out overnight when counter-demonstrators attacked a pro-Palestinian student encampment. At Columbia University, which has been the center of demonstrations in New York City, police were on standby after they entered the campus on Tuesday night (April 30) to clear the protest.

The presence of helmeted police officers at two of America’s most prestigious universities has left some students frustrated and uneasy. “I don’t think there should be a large police presence on campus,” Mark Torre, a 22-year-old UCLA student, told AFP as he surveyed the scene behind metal railings. “But day after day, I get more and more Lai Yue believes that this is a necessary evil that must be done to at least ensure the safety of the campus.”

At Columbia University and the City University of New York, police dispersed demonstrators overnight. About 300 people at Columbia and CUNY were arrested, New York Police Commissioner Edward Caban said at a Wednesday press conference.

Some students condemned the “brutal and aggressive” tactics used by police. Jose, a student at the City University of New York, said: “We were attacked and roughly arrested. I was detained for six hours before being released. I was beaten, stepped on, and cut.”

New York City Mayor Eric Adams blamed “outside agitators” for escalating tensions. Columbia students denied that outsiders were involved. Columbia University President Minouche Shafik was criticized for his decision to call the police. She said in a statement Wednesday that she was deeply saddened by the turn of events and “I’m sorry that we have come to this.”

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Since April, demonstrators have gathered at least 30 U.S. universities, often in tent camps, to protest the soaring death toll in Israel’s war in Gaza. The wave of protests has challenged university administrators as they try to balance their right to free speech with related complaints of alleged criminal activity, anti-Semitism, and hate speech.

President Joe Biden’s administration’s support for Israel has angered many protesters, who are trying to walk a fine line.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters: “We believe it was a small group of students who caused this chaos. If they want to protest, Americans have the right to do so within the bounds of the law.” Protest peacefully.”

Biden’s rival in the November presidential election, Donald Trump, expressed full support for the Colombian police response. “This is a beautiful thing. New York is the best,” he said at a rally in Wisconsin; “I say to every university president, dismantle the encampments immediately, eliminate the radicals, and get free money for all normal students.” Back to our campus.”

Television footage and images showed police entering the University of Wisconsin-Madison and arresting several protesters, while law enforcement officers wearing helmets and carrying batons arrived at the University of Texas at Dallas and began dismantling some of the student encampments there. At the University of Arizona, police said they used “chemical irritant munitions” to disperse an “unlawful assembly.”

Students at Fordham University, a Jesuit institution also in New York, launched their own campus protest on Wednesday, according to US media reports.

The war in Gaza began when Palestinian Hamas militants launched an unprecedented attack on Israel on October 7. According to an AFP tally of official Israeli data, the attack killed about 1,170 people, most of them civilians.

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The health ministry in Hamas-controlled areas said subsequent Israeli retaliatory attacks have killed more than 34,500 people in Gaza, mostly women and children.

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