Campus Arrests Overall Top 2K

AP keeps tally since Columbia protest began on April 17
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 2, 2024 6:20 PM CDT
Campus Arrests Overall Top 2K
A student encampment is shown Thursday at Middlebury College as demonstrators protest the Israel-Hamas war in Middlebury, Vt.   (AP Photo/Lisa Rathke)

Police have arrested more than 2,000 people during pro-Palestinian protests at college campuses across the US in recent weeks, according to an AP tally Thursday. In the past 24 hours, the unrest has drawn the most attention at UCLA, where chaotic scenes played out early Thursday when officers in riot gear surged against demonstrators. The demonstrations began at Columbia University on April 17, with students calling for an end to the Israel-Hamas war, which has killed more than 34,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, according to the Health Ministry there. Israel launched its offensive in Gaza after Hamas militants killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took roughly 250 hostages in an attack on southern Israel on Oct. 7.

Israel has branded the protests antisemitic, while Israel's critics say it uses those allegations to silence opposition. Although some protesters have been caught on camera making antisemitic remarks or violent threats, protest organizers—some of whom are Jewish—call it a peaceful movement to defend Palestinian rights and protest the war. President Biden on Thursday defended students' right to peaceful protest but decried the disorder of recent days. Meanwhile, protest encampments at schools across the US were cleared by police—resulting in more arrests—or closed up voluntarily.

University of Minnesota officials reached an agreement with protesters not to disrupt commencements. Similar agreements have been made at Northwestern University in suburban Chicago and Brown University in Rhode Island, per the AP. A professors group at Columbia University condemned school leadership on Thursday for asking police to remove protesters in what the group called a "horrific police attack on our students." Officers burst into a building Tuesday, breaking up a demonstration that had paralyzed the school. (More 2024 campus protests stories.)

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