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College protests live updates: Police crackdown leads to hundreds of arrests

todayApril 29, 2024

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(NEW YORK) — Protests have broken out at colleges and universities across the country in connection with the war in Gaza.

Many pro-Palestinian protesters are calling for their colleges to divest of funds from Israeli military operations, while some Jewish students on the campuses have called the protests antisemitic and said they are scared for their safety.

The student protests — some of which have turned into around-the-clock encampments — have erupted throughout the nation following arrests and student removals at Columbia University in New York City. Students at schools including Yale University, New York University, Harvard University, University of Texas at Austin, University of Southern California and more have launched protests.

Here’s how the news is developing:

Apr 28, 8:52 PM
UCLA increases security measures after physical altercations during protest

UCLA announced it is instituting additional security measures amid protests on campus over the Israel-Hamas war in a statement on Sunday.

“UCLA has a long history of peaceful protest and we are heartbroken to report that today, some physical altercations broke out among demonstrators on Royce Quad,” Mary Osako, vice chancellor of UCLA Strategic Communications said.

“We have since instituted additional security measures and increased the numbers of our safety team members on site,” Osako said.

“As an institution of higher education, we stand firmly for the idea that even when we disagree, we must still engage respectfully and recognize one another’s humanity,” Osako continued.

Addressing the physical altercations during the protests, Osako said, “We are dismayed that certain individuals instead chose to jeopardize the physical safety of the community.”

Last week, the University of California rejected calls to divest from companies that do business with Israel.

Apr 28, 10:07 AM
White House: ‘We don’t want to see anybody hurt in the process’

The White House said Sunday that President Joe Biden respects the right of demonstrators to make their voices heard — peacefully — and “we don’t want to see anybody hurt in the process.”

“The president knows that there are very strong feelings about the war in Gaza. He understands that, he respects that, and as he has said many times, we certainly respect the right of peaceful protest. People should have the ability to air their views and to share their perspectives publicly, but it has to be peaceful,” White House national security spokesman John Kirby told ABC News’ This Week anchor George Stephanopoulos on Sunday.

Kirby did warn that some language heard during the demonstrations crossed a line with the administration.

“We absolutely condemn the antisemitism language that we’ve heard of late, and we certainly condemn all the hate speech and the threats of violence out there. These protests, we understand they’re important, but they do need to be peaceful,” he said.

“We’ll leave it to local authorities to determine how these protests are managed,” Kirby told Stephanopoulos, “but we want them to be peaceful protests and obviously we don’t want to see anybody hurt in the process of peacefully protesting.”

Apr 28, 12:07 AM
USC temporarily closes main campus due to ‘disruption,’ LAPD issues alert

The University of Southern California closed its main campus Saturday evening “due to a disturbance,” the university said on X.

Los Angeles Police Department issued a citywide tactical alert due to a protest on USC’s campus, urging people to avoid the area.

A tactical alert allows LAPD to keep officers on past their shifts and to move officers between divisions if they need extra staffing in one area of the city.

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