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The Latest | Pro-Palestinian Protesters Arrested at 2 Arizona Campuses
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By Associated Press
Published 4 weeks ago on
May 1, 2024

Pro-Palestinian protests on US campuses lead to multiple arrests and confrontations. Police clear encampments at Arizona universities. (AP/Craig Ruttle)

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Police at two campuses in Arizona have cleared out encampments and arrested pro-Palestinian protesters.

Several people were arrested by police in riot gear early Wednesday at the University of Arizona in Tucson after President Robert Robbins directed school officials to “immediately enforce campus use policies.”

And about 20 people were arrested at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff on Tuesday night on trespassing charges. Police dismantled a small fence made of chicken wire as well as nearly two dozen tents.

Currently:

  • Dueling protesters clash at UCLA hours after police clear pro-Palestinian demonstration at Columbia.
  • Student protesters reach a deal with Northwestern University that sparks criticism from all sides.
  • How Columbia University became the driving force behind protests over the war in Gaza.
  • Trump’s comparison of student protests to Jan. 6 is part of effort to downplay Capitol attack.

At Least a Dozen Arrested at University of Wisconsin in Madison

Campus police spokesperson Marc Lovicott said at least a dozen people have been arrested at the University of Wisconsin in Madison as police removed tents erected by protesters.

Police pushed into the protesters with shields Wednesday morning, resulting in a scrum. Protesters chanted “students hold your ground” and “long live Palestine.”

Police have removed all but one of the tents that protesters erected.

NY Mayor Says Nearly 300 People Arrested in Crackdowns on Protests

The protesters’ tents and belongings were loaded into a dump truck. The university said camping is prohibited under campus policy and state law.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams says about 300 people were arrested in police crackdowns on pro-Palestinian protests at Columbia University and City College. Adams, a Democrat who was formerly a police captain, insisted that while the people who entered Columbia’s Hamilton Hall included students, “It was led by individuals who were not affiliated with the university.” “There is a movement to radicalize young people. And I’m not going to wait until it is done to acknowledge the existence of it,” Adams said Wednesday morning.

Police Remove Encampment at University of Wisconsin’s Madison Campus

Police were removing an encampment of pro-Palestinian protesters at the University of Wisconsin’s Madison campus and have taken away several protesters.

Several police officers arrived at the encampment on the campus’ Library Mall around 7 a.m. Wednesday and played a recorded message on a loop saying it was a final warning and that protesters were in violation of university code, WISC-TV reported.

About 20 minutes later, nearly 60 police officers, some with riot shields, arrived and began removing tents and other items, the station reported.

Video from WISC-TV showed police with riot shields pushing against protesters and the protesters pushing back while chanting slogans, including “Free Free Palestine.” The station said that at least 10 protesters were taken away by police with their hands zip-tied by officers.

Police later removed some tents that had remained at the encampment, but about 30 protesters surrounded another tent to prevent officers from reaching it.

Campus leaders and police warned students last week to comply with state law and university rules, which prohibit unauthorized camping on campus. But on Monday, several hundred protesters gathered on the Mall, located between Memorial Library and the Wisconsin Historical Society, and established an encampment, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

New York Mayor Says ‘Outside Agitators’ Were Part of Protests

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said in an appearance on on “CBS Mornings” on Wednesday that police had identified organizations and individuals who weren’t university students, but professional agitators.

“Once I became aware of the outside agitators who were part of this operation, as Columbia mentioned in their letter and their request with the New York City Police Department, it was clear we had to take appropriate actions when our intelligence division identified those who were professionals, well trained,” Adams said.

Adams and the NYPD made similar claims before the arrests that the protest had been co-opted by outside agitators, though did not provide specific evidence to back up that contention. While people involved in the Columbia demonstrations acknowledge that some people not part of the college community have participated, they forcefully dispute the idea that outsiders were driving or unduly influencing the protests.

Adams pointed to protesters breaking into Hamilton Hall at Columbia University, saying some of the tactics and methods have been used across the globe.

“And we understood how really dangerous this situation had become,” Adams said, noting they made sure that a minimum amount of force was used to “eradicate the problem” at City University of New York and Columbia.

When there’s an analysis of those arrested, Adams said a substantial number of them won’t be City University of New York or Columbia students.

Adams said he understands the power of protests, but they have to make sure they don’t turn violent. Breaking into Hamilton Hall was not protesting, “that was committing a crime,” he said.

NYC Mayor: Police Had to Move in ‘for the Safety of Those Children’

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Wednesday that police had to move in to Columbia University’s Hamilton Hall “for the safety of those children.”

He blamed outside agitators for the building takeover.

“There are people who are harmful and they’re trying to radicalize our children and we cannot ignore this,” Adams said.

The NYPD’s deputy commissioner for public information, Tarik Sheppard, who appeared with the mayor, held up a heavy chain.

“This is not what students bring to school,” Sheppard said. “This is what we encountered on every door inside Hamilton Hall.”

Sheppard said 40 to 50 people were arrested at Hamilton Hall with no injuries. Adams said they will face charges including burglary, trespassing and criminal mischief, while those who were arrested outside the building will be face less serious charges.

Arrests and Suspensions at Tulane University

Six people have been arrested and suspensions have been issued to seven students who participated in demonstrations at Tulane University, the school in New Orleans said in a message to the university community early Wednesday. One more suspension was pending, officials said.

The university was also looking into reports of university employees participating in the demonstration.

“We value free speech and have supported numerous lawful demonstrations throughout this year,” the university said in the statement. “But we remain opposed to trespassing, hate speech, antisemitism and bias against religious or ethnic groups.”

Four buildings on campus would remain closed Wednesday as the demonstration continued, with classes scheduled in those buildings going remote, officials said.

When several dozen protesters camped in about a dozen small tents on a grassy area near an administration building Monday, police “moved in immediately to attempt to stop the encampment,” the administration said Tuesday. There were arrests and students were suspended after a confrontation with police Monday and the Students for a Democratic Society organization also was suspended, the university said.

Protesters Clash at UCLA After Police Clear Demonstrators From Columbia University

Dueling groups of protesters clashed Wednesday at the University of California, Los Angeles, grappling in fistfights and shoving, kicking and using sticks to beat one another.

Hours earlier, police carrying riot shields burst into a building at Columbia University that pro-Palestinian protesters took over and broke up a demonstration that had paralyzed the school while inspiring others.

After a couple of hours of scuffles between pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli demonstrators at UCLA, police wearing helmets and face shields formed lines and slowly separated the groups. That appeared to quell the violence.

Police have swept through campuses across the U.S. over the last two weeks in response to protests calling on universities to stop doing business with Israel or companies that support the war in Gaza. There have been confrontations and more than 1,000 arrests. In rarer instances, university officials and protest leaders struck agreements to restrict the disruption to campus life and upcoming commencement ceremonies.

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