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Pro-Palestinian protests at colleges expand to USC, University of Texas-Austin : NPR


University of Southern California protesters push and shove university public safety officers as tempers flare during a pro-Palestinian occupation on the University of Southern California campus on Wednesday April 24, 2024 in Los Angeles.

Richard Vogel/AP


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Richard Vogel/AP


University of Southern California protesters push and shove university public safety officers as tempers flare during a pro-Palestinian occupation on the University of Southern California campus on Wednesday April 24, 2024 in Los Angeles.

Richard Vogel/AP

Pro-Palestinian protests continue to spread at colleges and universities across the country, as protests erupted Wednesday at the University of Southern California and the University of Texas at Austin, prompting a heavy police response and dozens of arrests on campus.

“There is significant activity in the center of the UPC campus due to a protest. There may be difficulty accessing this area,” USC told X on Wednesday morning.

In subsequent updates, the school asked people to avoid the center of campus, called University Park Campus (UPC), and that if they were to come to that area, they should show their student ID to doors.

The UPC area was closed later that evening. The Los Angeles Police Department said it showed up around 4 p.m. PT and by 10 p.m. arrested 93 people for trespassing, a minor misdemeanor. An arrest was made for assault with a deadly weapon, although the department did not specify the weapon used.

No injuries were reported and the LAPD will continue to patrol the area through Thursday, he said.

“The university is a private campus, and the group violated some of their orders, and it was trespassing at that time, and we assisted in those arrests,” said LAPD Cpt. » said Kelly Muniz.

The protests follow the school’s decision last week to cancel the commencement speech of valedictorian Asna Tabassum, who posted pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli content on her social media. The school said it canceled the speech due to security concerns.

At the University of Texas at Austin, hundreds of people demonstrated in support of the Palestinians. University officers and Texas state troopers responded to the scene in riot gear and arrested dozens of students who did not leave the area, according to NPR member station KUT .

“Arrests are underway and will continue until the crowd disperses,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott said. posted on. “These protesters belong in jail. Anti-Semitism will not be tolerated in Texas. Period. Students who participate in hateful anti-Semitic protests at any public college or university in Texas should be expelled.”

UT Austin President Jay Hartzell praised the school and law enforcement for showing “extraordinary restraint” and said protest organizers intended to violate the school policies.

“The group that led this protest said they were going to violate institutional rules,” Hartzell said. “Our rules are important and they will be enforced. Our university will not be occupied. Protesters attempted to carry out their stated intention to occupy the campus. People unaffiliated with UT joined in, and many ignored continued calls from university officials to restrain and disperse immediately.

For weeks, students at the nation’s leading colleges and universities – including Yale, Vanderbilt, the University of Pennsylvania, New York University and Columbia University – have been protesting in support of the Palestinians and facing repercussions, such as arrests and expulsions.

House Speaker Mike Johnson visited Colombia on Wednesday and called on Speaker Nemat Shafik to resign.

“I here join my colleagues and call on President Shafik to resign if she cannot immediately bring order to this chaos,” he said at a news conference on campus, at which he was joined by other members of Congress. “As Speaker of the House, I pledge today that Congress will not remain silent while Jewish students are expected to run for their lives and stay home from class, hiding in fear .”

Columbia’s Board of Trustees said it “strongly supports President Shafik as she leads the university through this extraordinarily difficult time.”



News Source : www.npr.org
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