Campus protests: 1,000 arrests, chaos breaks out

by ian

Regarding the nationwide university protests, arrests on campus officially crossed the 1,000 mark yesterday. This is counting all arrests specifically on campuses nationwide since April 18 – when reports of the protests began circulating.

The arrests have occurred on over 25 campuses across 21 states. Many of these campuses have seen at least 45 arrests. Others, such as Columbia University, go in the hundreds.

Another campus that has become a hotbed of protest activity is the University of California, Los Angeles.

Earlier this morning, reports came in about clashes between pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli demonstrators. Pro-Israeli counterprotesters arrived at the UCLA pro-Palestinian encampment at around 2 a.m. Eastern time, and chaos quickly ensued.

Just before the violence, UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said that the pro-Palestinian encampment was “unlawful” and that students who didn’t leave would face disciplinary action. The LAPD ended up getting involved in the tussle to assist the UCLA police.

Earlier today, the protesters accused the school of doing “nothing” to stop the attack on their encampment. Reports unveiled since the chaos last night show that counter protesters tried to dismantle the encampment. One video even shows a person tossing a firework directly into the area.

Other arrests were made recently due to protests. This includes the University of Wisconsin-Madison, City College of New York, and the city of New York. Police in the Big Apple said they have responded to 2,400 protests across the city.

The protests have officially garnered the attention of the Iranian Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Khamenei said that Gaza “is the world’s number one issue today” and that the issue cannot be removed “from the agenda of world public opinion.” He specifically pointed to the campus protests as the reason why.

Perhaps no one is more aware of public opinion on this issue than President Joe Biden. Republicans have seized the opportunity in a new ad against the president, saying “This is Joe Biden’s America. This is Joe Biden’s campus chaos.”

The president has attempted to walk a line on the issue, both declaring support for Israel and trying to urge humanitarian assistance to satisfy the pro-Palestine crowd. Most recently, reports suggest that Biden may consider bringing Palestinians from Gaza to the U.S. as refugees.

Whether this will assuage the concerns of these protesters and other pro-Palestine supporters is yet to be seen.