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More than 130 arrested at NYU campus Gaza protests

By AFP

April 23, 2024 08:42 PM


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More than 130 people were arrested overnight during pro-Palestinian protests at the New York University campus as student demonstrations gathered pace in the United States over the Israel-Hamas war.

The New York Police Department said 133 people had been arrested and released after being issued with court summons, as protests also intensified at Yale, Columbia University and other campuses.

As the holiday of Passover began Monday night, police began detaining demonstrators at an encampment at NYU.

A New York University spokesman said the decision to call police came after additional protesters, many of whom were not thought to be affiliated with NYU, suddenly breached the barriers erected around the encampment.

This "dramatically changed" the situation, the spokesman said in a statement on the school's website Monday, citing "disorderly, disruptive and antagonizing behavior" along with "intimidated chants and several antisemitic incidents."

"Given the foregoing and the safety issues raised by the breach, we asked for assistance from the NYPD. The police urged those on the plaza to leave peacefully, but ultimately made several arrests."

The spokesman said the school continues to support freedom of expression and the safety of students.

The protests began last week at Columbia University, also in New York, with a large group of demonstrators establishing a so-called "Gaza Solidarity Encampment" on school grounds.

But more than 100 protesters were arrested after university authorities called the police onto Columbia's campus Thursday, a move that seemingly escalated tensions and sparked a greater turnout over the weekend.

Social media images late Monday appeared to show pro-Palestinian Jewish students holding traditional seder meals inside the protest areas on campuses including at Columbia.

There were also demonstrations at MIT, the University of Michigan, and Yale, where at least 47 people were arrested Monday after refusing requests to disperse.


AFP


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