US campus crackdown 10-point update: Protestors detained across USC, Harvard, Columbia - Hindustan Times
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US campus crackdown 10-point update: Protestors detained across USC, Harvard, Columbia

Apr 25, 2024 11:19 AM IST

21 US colleges face pro-Palestine agitators, Joe Biden's visit to Columbia University is doubtful.

From California to New York, almost 21 US colleges are experiencing unruly pro-Palestine agitators on Wednesday, with four schools facing disruptions in Massachusetts, California, Texas and New York.

Pro-Palestinian protesters are pushed to the edge of campus at the University of Texas Wednesday, April 24, 2024, in Austin, Texas. Student protests over the Israel-Hamas war have popped up on an increasing number of college campuses following last week's arrest of more than 100 demonstrators at Columbia University. (Ricardo B. Brazziell/Austin American-Statesman via AP)(AP)
Pro-Palestinian protesters are pushed to the edge of campus at the University of Texas Wednesday, April 24, 2024, in Austin, Texas. Student protests over the Israel-Hamas war have popped up on an increasing number of college campuses following last week's arrest of more than 100 demonstrators at Columbia University. (Ricardo B. Brazziell/Austin American-Statesman via AP)(AP)

Here's a comprehensive update on how tensions rise at US colleges:

  1. Protests at 21 colleges across the US: The New York Police Department was summoned in at the University of New York and Yale on Monday to resolve pro-Palestinian protests, while across the states, almost 21 universities had their classes shifted online or rested the closed parts of the campus ground as the protests grew.
    College locations are:
    Brown University Providence, R.I.
    California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt Arcata, Calif.
    Columbia University / Barnard College New York, N.Y.
    Emerson College Boston, Mass.
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, Mass.
    New York University New York, N.Y.
    Rice University Houston, Texas
    The New School New York, N.Y.
    Tufts University Medford, Mass.
    University of Alberta Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    University of California Berkeley Berkeley, Calif.
    University of Illinois Champaign, Ill.
    University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Mich.
    University of Minnesota Twin Cities Minneapolis, Minn.
    University of New Mexico Albuquerque, N.M.
    University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, N.C.
    University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, Penn.
    University of Rochester Rochester, N.Y.
    University of Southern California Los Angeles, Calif.
    Vanderbilt University Nashville, Tenn.
    Yale University New Haven, Conn.

    ALSO READ| Campus crackdown in US: Police detain protestors at USC
  2. Arrests across campuses: Dozens of protestors were arrested during pro-Palestine demonstrations at several universities, including the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin) and the University of Southern California (USC). At least 34 individuals were detained at UT Austin, while USC saw over 93 arrests.
    Cops said, “Patrols will remain in the area through tomorrow.”
    Earlier this week, more than 100 protestors were booked.
  3. How it all started: The protests stem from a wave of demonstrations started by students at Columbia University, who erected encampments urging the university to divest from weapons manufacturers linked to Israel. These protests have spread to almost 21 campuses across the states, resulting in mass suspensions and arrests of hundreds of students.
  4. House Speaker Mike Johnson jumped into: House Speaker Mike Johnson made a contentious visit to Columbia's campus, where he faced opposition from pro-Palestinian protesters.
    Johnson condemned the demonstrations as “mob rule” and denounced it as a “virus of antisemitism” in colleges nationwide.
    “And it’s detestable, as Columbia has allowed these lawless agitators and radicals to take over,” he stated.
    “If this is not contained quickly and if these threats and intimidation are not stopped, there is an appropriate time for the national guard.”
  5. Democratic governor of New York blames Jhonson: Democratic governor of New York, Kathy Hochul calls Jhonson's visit as “divisive.” She accused Johnson is “politicizing” the issue.
    She expressed, “There’s a lot more responsibilities and crises to be dealt with in Washington.”

    ALSO READ| In Pics | US campuses up in arms against Gaza genocide in fresh protests
  6. Calls for resignation: House Speaker Johnson called for the resignation of Minouche Shafik, Columbia’s president, accusing her of failing to protect Jewish students and allowing protests that led to numerous arrests.
    However, Shafik extended a deadline for talks with protest leaders regarding the dismantling of a tent encampment on Columbia’s campus.
  7. Students are marching around the campuses: Thousands of students have participated in marches and encampments at universities across the US, demanding “Free Palestine” and divestment from companies with ties to Israel and advocating for Palestinian rights.
    One USC student told The Gurdian, “I think the solution is to get involved, because at least I can feel like I’m doing my part. Even if it’s not enough, I’m doing the best I can to make something of it. I find peace in that.”
  8. Campus shutdowns: Pro-Palestinian protesters at California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt, barricaded themselves in a university building, prompting a campus shutdown.
    Students at Harvard University set up an encampment in Harvard Yard to protest against the suspension of the university’s undergraduate Palestine solidarity committee and demand divestment from Israel.
  9. Response from local law enforcement: Law enforcement has responded with force to some protests.
    At UT Austin, state troopers, including those on horseback, clashed with protesters, resulting in several arrests and injuries.
    More than 100 people were arrested at the Columbia University
  10. Faculty response: Faculty at UT Austin announced plans to strike in response to what they termed a “militarized response” to “peaceful” protests, indicating their refusal to hold classes starting Thursday

ALSO READ| Harvard protests mount as tensions spread over Israel-Hamas

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Despite almost 34 arrests and crackdowns, agitators are disrupting the university campuses across the states. Many Jewish students at Columbia said protesters had physically blocked them from attending classes.

It's highly unlikely that Joe Biden will visit Columbia University on Friday during his New York visit.

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