AP Explains: wave of campus protests against Gaza war grows

(24 Apr 2024)

New York – 24 April 2024
1. Various tent encampment and protest signs on Columbia University campus
2. SOUNDBITE (English) Jake Offenhartz, The Associated Press:
"I’m at the Columbia University encampment, where pro-Palestinian protesters say they were able to avert an early morning threat of arrest and secure a 48 hour extension from the university to continue negotiating. In exchange, administrators say, the protesters agreed to block non-students from entering the encampment and to take down some of their tents. The students have been sleeping on the lawn since last week, demanding the university sever ties with companies linked to the war in Gaza. They’ve set off a movement on campuses across the country, leading to tense standoffs and arrests in Boston, California, Texas and elsewhere."

Austin, Texas – 24 April 2024
3. large group of student protestors march on campus of University of Texas

Ann Arbor, Michigan – 24 April 2024
4. Various protest tent encampment at University of Michigan

Austin, Texas – 24 April 2024
5. Various protestors clash with police on campus of University of Texas

New York – 24 April 2024
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Jake Offenhartz, The Associated Press:
"And the encampment behind me continues to be bustling. It’s highly organized. There’s people designated as security sorting trays of food that have been dropped off, serving as press liaisons. The mood is upbeat, and protesters tell me that as negotiations with the university continue, they have no plans to end the encampment until all of their demands are met."
7. Student protestors walk around tent encampment
At the University of Texas at Austin, dozens of local police and state troopers formed a line to prevent students from marching through the campus, eventually clashing with the protesters and detaining multiple people.

And at the University of Southern California, police removed several tents, then got into a back-and-forth tugging match with protesters over tents before falling back.

Harvard University in Massachusetts had sought to stay ahead of protests this week by limiting access to Harvard Yard and requiring permission for tents and tables.

But that didn’t stop protesters from setting up a camp with 14 tents Wednesday, which came after a rally against the university’s suspension of the Harvard Undergraduate Palestine Solidarity Committee.

Columbia University averted another confrontation between students and police earlier in the day. The situation there remained tense, with campus officials saying it would continue talks with protesters for another 48 hours.

Students protesting Israel’s war with Hamas are demanding schools cut financial ties to Israel and divest from companies enabling its monthslong conflict. Dozens have been arrested on charges of trespassing or disorderly conduct.

Some Jewish students say the protests have veered into antisemitism and made them afraid to set foot on campus.

On Wednesday evening, a Columbia spokesperson said rumors that the university had threatened to bring in the National Guard were unfounded.

Police first tried to clear the encampment at Columbia last week, when they arrested more than 100 protesters.

But the move backfired, acting as an inspiration for other students across the country to set up similar encampments and motivating protesters at Columbia to regroup.

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Author: admin