Pro-Palestinian protests escalate on US campuses despite rising arrests


Pro-Palestinian protests on US college campuses continue, with over 2,000 arrests in the past three weeks, with prominent universities like Columbia, University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA), and Yale, according to media reports.

Amid nationwide demonstrations in the US, several universities have witnessed hundreds of arrests since April 18, with many lecturers and professors among those detained.

At UCLA, hundreds of police officers in riot gear dispersed a pro-Palestinian protest on Thursday, arresting defiant demonstrators and dismantling their encampment.

The state police announced that at least 200 people were detained in the police raid at UCLA and that these people were being held in the county jail in central Los Angeles.

In Portland, police arrested 30 people during a raid at Portland State University’s library, with protests continuing on Thursday.

Protests continue amid police clashes and arrests

Crowds gather again at Stony Brook University following the night of 29 arrests including one university professor.

At New York University, students continued a pro-Palestinian encampment on campus despite threats of suspension.

Activists were also dispersed by the harsh intervention of the police at the protests at City College, Buffalo and Fordham universities.

The Columbia University branch of the American Association of University Professors also condemned the school administration, which called on the New York Police Department to intervene to disperse students who support Palestine on campus, with a press statement shared on social media.

The university campuses in the state of California became one of the protest areas where the most activity was experienced in the last 24 hours.

California State University, Los Angeles (CSU) students established an encampment to pressure the university into ending its financial ties with institutions linked to Israel.

Protest camps were also dispersed at New Hampshire, Northern Arizona, and Tulane universities, and many students were detained.

The demonstrations began on April 17 at Columbia University to protest Israel’s offensive in Gaza, where more than 34,500 Palestinians have been killed and 77,700 injured since an Oct. 7 attack by Hamas.

The protests have served as a flashpoint for the wider movement to protest Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza.

The war was triggered by the Oct. 7 Hamas incursion last year which killed some 1,200 people.

Israel has since waged a relentless offensive on the Palestinian enclave killing tens of thousands of Palestinians amid mass destruction and severe shortages of necessities.

Israel has also imposed a crippling siege on the seaside enclave, leaving most of its population, particularly residents of northern Gaza, on the verge of starvation.

More than six months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins, pushing 85% of the enclave’s population into internal displacement amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water, and medicine, according to the UN.

Israel is also accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.__The Nation