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Pro-Palestinian Protests Expand to USC and University of Texas Campuses

Pro-Palestinian Protests Expand to USC and University of Texas Campuses

Pro-Palestinian protests are increasingly taking place at colleges and universities nationwide, with recent protests at the University of Southern California and The University of Texas at Austin leading to a robust police presence and numerous campus arrests.

USC reported significant protest activity at the heart of the University Park Campus (UPC) on Wednesday morning, warning of potential access difficulties. The university later advised individuals to steer clear of the UPC center, requiring student IDs for entry.

By evening, the UPC area was shut down. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) arrived around 4 p.m. Pacific Time, arresting 93 individuals for trespassing, a minor offense, by 10 p.m.

An additional arrest was made for assault with a deadly weapon, though the specific weapon was not disclosed.

WBUR, a nonprofit news organization, relies on financial contributions for its coverage.

LAPD’s Response to the Pro-Palestinian Protests

The LAPD reported no injuries and plans to continue area patrols into Thursday. LAPD Cpt. Kelly Muniz explained that the university is private property, and the group had been disobeying some of their orders, resulting in trespassing and subsequent arrests.

The protests were triggered by the university’s decision to cancel valedictorian Asna Tabassum’s commencement speech last week, following her posting of pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel content on social media.

The university cited safety concerns as the reason for the cancellation.

At the University of Texas at Austin, a large crowd gathered to show support for Palestinians.

University officers and Texas state troopers, equipped in riot gear, arrested numerous students who refused to vacate the area, as reported by NPR member station KUT.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared on social media that arrests were ongoing and would persist until the crowd dispersed, stating that these protesters should be incarcerated and that antisemitism would not be tolerated in Texas.

Repercussions and Calls for Resignation

UT Austin President Jay Hartzell praised the school and law enforcement for their exceptional restraint, stating that the protest organizers intended to breach school policies.

Hartzell said, “The group leading this protest declared its intention to violate Institutional Rules.

Our rules are important and will be enforced. Our University will not be occupied. The protesters attempted to fulfill their declared intent to occupy the campus.

Non-UT individuals joined them, and many disregarded University officials’ repeated calls for restraint and immediate dispersal.”

For several weeks, students at prominent colleges and universities across the country, including Yale, Vanderbilt, the University of Pennsylvania, New York University, and Columbia University, have been rallying in support of Palestinians, facing consequences such as arrests and expulsions.

House Speaker Mike Johnson visited Columbia on Wednesday, calling for President Nemat Shafik’s resignation.

Johnson stated during a campus press conference, “I’m here with my colleagues, calling for President Shafik’s resignation if she cannot promptly restore order to this chaos.

As Speaker of the House, I’m committing today that Congress will not remain silent as Jewish students are forced to fear for their safety and miss classes.”

Columbia’s board of trustees expressed strong support for President Shafik as she navigates the university through this extraordinarily challenging period.


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