Campus protests: Hundreds arrested at universities across US as Gaza demonstrations continue


Hundreds more people were arrested at college campuses across the US on Saturday as student protests against the war in Gaza continue.

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein was among those detained by police.

Protestors are demanding institutions boycott companies and individuals with ties to Israel.

But some Jewish students have complained about alleged antisemitism from some demonstrators.

A spokesperson for Ms Stein said she was one of around 80 people to have been arrested at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri. The Green Party presidential candidate was not currently believed to be facing charges, the spokesperson added.

California State Polytechnic became the latest to announce it would move to remote teaching. The protests have seen in-person teaching cancelled and graduation ceremonies postponed.

Tents first appeared on the college green at Columbia on 17 April. The protests then spread across the country after police in riot gear were sent to clear the tents, arresting more than 100 students. Shortly after, students erected another protest camp at Yale University in Connecticut.

At Northeastern University in Boston, over 100 protesters were arrested for trespassing on Saturday by the Massachusetts State Police after refusing to clear their tents from college grounds, according to a police statement. The camp was cleared by police.

Northeastern University wrote on X that “demonstrations had been infiltrated by professional organisers” with no connection to the university. Antisemitic slurs had been heard, it added, saying: “We cannot tolerate this kind of hate on campus.” Protest leaders strongly rejected the allegations.

At the University of South California, pro-Palestinian demonstrators returned to campus days after police were called to clear a protest at the university’s Alumni Park. The protest was reportedly mostly peaceful but the university administration reported “vandalism” to campus property after Saturday’s protest.

The university said the campus had been vandalised “by individuals who are part of the group that has continued to illegally camp on our campus”, adding that a statue and fountain had been damaged. The campus would be temporarily closed to non-residents, the university said.

Twenty-three people were arrested at Indiana University on Saturday.

Other campuses, including Columbia and Emory University in Georgia, were reportedly quieter Saturday.

The protests were sparked by anger at Israel’s offensive in Gaza, which has killed more than 34,000 Palestinians, mostly civilians, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.

The Israeli military launched the offensive after about 1,200 Israelis and foreigners, mostly civilians, were killed and 253 others were taken to Gaza as hostages, when Hamas attacked Israeli communities near Gaza on 7 October last year.__BBC