Top US Colleges Struggle With Widening Gaza Protests

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Protests against the war in Gaza have spread from Columbia and Yale to other universities as officials scramble to diffuse a burgeoning protest movement.

On Monday night, police moved to break up a protest at New York University and made a number of arrests.

Dozens of students were arrested at Yale earlier in the day while Columbia cancelled in-person classes.

Similar “encampments” have sprung up at Berkeley, MIT and other colleges across the country.

Demonstrations and heated debates about the Israel-Gaza war and free speech have rocked US campuses since the Gaza war began.

More than 34,000 Palestinians in Gaza most of them children and women have been killed in the conflict, Gaza Health Ministry says.

In the US, students on both sides say there has been a rise in both antisemitic and Islamophobic incidents.

When asked about the campus protests on Monday, President Joe Biden said he condemned “the antisemitic protests” as well as “those who don’t understand what’s going on with the Palestinians“.

The campus protest movement was thrust into the global spotlight last week after New York City police were called out to Columbia University’s campus in the city and arrested dozens of demonstrators.

At New York University, protesters set up tents across from the Stern School of Business.

As was the case in some of the other universities, the NYU protesters are calling on the school to disclose and divest its “finances and endowments from weapons manufacturers and companies with an interest in the Israeli occupation”.

As night fell on Monday, police began arresting protesters there.

Hours before, nearly 50 protesters were arrested at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, where demonstrations had swelled to several hundred people over the weekend.

The university said those taken into custody had ignored “multiple requests” to leave.

Protest encampments have also been established at the University of California at Berkeley, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Michigan, Emerson College and Tufts.

 

BBC

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