Cops in Riot Gear Arrest UT Austin Students Protesting Gaza Slaughter

Authorities in the United States have repressed pro-Palestinian protests on college campuses, leading to widespread anger and mass arrests.

On Thursday morning, students from many universities, including  Princeton, Cornell, George Washington,  Northwestern, Emory, and City College of New York, established solidarity encampments. Some students are demanding that their schools pull their funding out of corporations involved in the Israel-Hamas conflict or that they divest from companies that do business with Israel. A large number of demonstrators have been taken into custody since Wednesday night.

On Wednesday, unrest broke out during a student walkout at UT Austin when police attempted to disperse the demonstrators with the use of horses and riot gear, leading to the arrest of thirty-four individuals. Two journalists were taken into custody.

Around 500 students demonstrated outside of class, demanding that UT-Austin cut ties with companies that provide weaponry to Israel for its attacks on Gaza. Even though police told demonstrators they would be arrested for trespassing and repeatedly asked them to disperse, the rally did not display any symptoms of violence before the intervention of authorities.

Upon arrival, campus police were willing to negotiate with demonstrators, but that attitude had evaporated by the end of the first hour. Police used white plastic ties to arrest students. A line of policemen with batons drove the demonstrators back, sending some of them sprawling to the ground. Public members posing as legal observers yelled out the names of those escorted to the Travis County Jail. Records from the Travis County Jail indicate that a few demonstrators were indicted for the Class B Misdemeanor crime of criminal trespassing.

Before classes started on Monday, Harvard University restricted entrance to only those with valid school IDs and sealed most of the gates to its renowned Harvard Yard. On Wednesday, however, after a demonstration protesting the university’s decision to suspend the Harvard Undergraduate Palestine Solidarity Committee, demonstrators persisted in erecting a 14-tent camp.