Over 2,000 violent anti-Israel protesters arrested across elite US universities

Amid the ongoing war in Gaza, another conflict is unfolding in the West: in recent weeks, over 2,000 violent pro-Palestinian protesters have been arrested at college campus demonstrations across the US.

On Wednesday night, police arrested more than 300 anti-Israel demonstrators, and thereby the total number of arrested protesters have grown to more than 2,000.

Police cleared a fortified encampment at the University of California, Los Angeles, arresting more than 200 students, who defied orders to leave, with and additional 90 arrests at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.

In Oregon, police moved into the school library on Thursday, which has been occupied by demonstrators since Monday.

One of the main goal of anti-Israel protesters who form encampments at campuses is to force universities to stop doing business with Israel or companies they say support the war against Hamas. The student movement have spread across campuses nationwide unlike any other this century.

US President Joe Biden criticized the violent protests, explaining that while the country is not an authoritarian nation silencing people, “order must prevail.”

LIVE: President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the White House on the college protests

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“Violent protest is not protected – peaceful protest is,” he added. “Vandalism, trespassing, breaking windows, shutting down campuses, forcing the cancellation of classes and graduations – none of this is a peaceful protest.” “There’s the right to protest, but not the right to cause chaos,” the US president explained.

Israel and its supporters condemned university protests for being antisemitic, while anti-Israel critics say Israel uses those allegations to silence opposition. Even though there are video footages of protesters making antisemitic remarks and violent threats, protest organizers say it is a peaceful movement to defend Palestinian rights.

The nationwide campus protests began at Columbia on April 17 in response to Israel’s offensive in Gaza. On April 18, the NYPD cleared Columbia’s initial encampment and arrested roughly 100 protesters. The demonstrators set up new tents and defied threats of suspension, and escalated their actions early Tuesday by occupying Hamilton Hall, an administration building. Roughly 20 hours later, officers stormed the hall, breaking up a demonstration that had paralyzed the school.

The confrontations at UCLA started after a permitted pro-Israel rally was held on campus Sunday, resulting in skirmishes with at least one person reported to have been injured. On late Tuesday, counterdemonstrators clashed with the pro-Palestinian encampment, grappling in fistfights and shoving, kicking and using sticks to beat one another. It took several hours for campus administrators and police to intervene. No one was arrested that night, but at least 15 protesters were injured.

Chaos at UCLA after fights break out during anti-Israel protests

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The encampment with more than 1,000 protesters inside and outside of it was dimantled by Thursday morning. Hundreds left voluntarily, while another 200-plus remained and were ultimately taken into custody.

At the University of Wisconsin, Madison, four officers were injured while dismantling an encampment. Four protesters were charged with battering law enforcement.

Protest encampments at other campuses across the US have been cleared by police resulting in more arrests– at City College, Fordham University and Stony Brook College in New York; Portland State in Oregon; Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff; Tulane University in New Orleans; and the University of Texas, Dallas. Some encampments were closed up voluntarily.

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Campus protests of the Israel-Hamas War have extended beyond Columbia University and NYU. Watch as heated demonstrations flare up at colleges across the country, and the police response, in chaotic footage from schools across the nation, including Illinois’ Northwestern University, University of Texas in Austin, University of Southern California, Emerson College in Boston, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and more.

 

Student protests have also sprung up in Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia.

 

Sources: The Guardian, The Times of Israel

Photo credit: Julia Bonavita/Fox News Digital