May 25, 2024

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Pro-Palestinian students seek new life after mass arrests

Pro-Palestinian students seek new life after mass arrests

(New York) Pro-Palestinian protests that have rocked US campuses for weeks are looking for new life after police crackdowns, mass arrests and fierce calls for orders from the White House.


Early Friday morning, police smoothly cleared a camp at New York University (NYU) at the company’s request.

At the University of Chicago, the administration broke up the meeting.

Protesters at the University of California Riverside (West) reached an agreement with management and must end their walkout before midnight Saturday (3 a.m. ET). Similar compromises allowed Rutgers (New Jersey, East) and Brown (Rhode Island, East) universities to exit smoothly.

On other campuses, such as Columbia in New York and UCLA in Los Angeles, law enforcement has intervened in recent days to petition the military.

According to reports established by several American media, a total of 2,000 people were arrested.

Criticized by students and faculty twice for calling in the police to intervene – images that have gone viral – Colombia’s president, Minoch Shafik, spoke of “turmoil” at his institution.

“These past two weeks have been the most difficult in the history of Colombia,” he said in a video posted on social media Friday, calling the student occupation of a building “an act of violence.”

“We have a lot to do, but I am committed to working every day to rebuild the community on our campus,” he added.

Since April 17, a new wave of mobilizations for Gaza has spread across American campuses, echoing to a lesser extent the anti-Vietnam War protests of the 1960s and 70s.

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In addition to demanding an end to the conflict in Gaza, these students are calling on universities to sever their ties with Israel and divest themselves of their investments in the country.

They also condemn America’s almost unconditional support for their ally.

Israel launched a massive offensive in the Gaza Strip in response to an October 7 attack by Hamas on its soil.

Vietnam

On Thursday, during a short speech, Democratic President Joe Biden remained silent for a long time on the protests, insisting that “order must prevail.”

This earned him criticism from the right, who saw him as too complacent, and anger from supporters of the demonstrators.

“There’s a right to protest, not a right to cause chaos,” said the octogenarian candidate against Republican Donald Trump in November’s presidential election.

His education minister, Miguel Cardona, sent a letter to university leaders in which he said he was “incredibly concerned by reports of anti-Semitic hatred against students on some campuses”.

The demonstrations have reignited an already tense and violent debate in the US over freedom of expression, anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism since the Hamas attack.

On the one hand, students and faculty accuse their universities of trying to censor political speech, while on the other several personalities, including elected representatives of Congress, assert that activists incite anti-Semitism.

This issue Mr. Could undermine Biden’s race for the White House.

“This could be Biden’s Vietnam,” warned left-wing Senator Bernie Sanders on CNN.

“I really fear that President Biden is putting himself in a position to alienate not only young people, but a large part of the Democratic base,” he added.

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On the Republican side, Donald Trump described the demonstrators as “far-left pranksters” who “must stop now”.

This mobilization has inspired pro-Palestinian activists around the world, whether in France, at the prestigious Paris School of Sciences, or at McGill University in Canada and UNAM in Mexico.

Unlike other institutions, Brown University in the US state of Rhode Island agreed with protesters to remove their encampment in exchange for a vote on possible “dissociation”.