Breaking Campus News. Launching Media Careers.
Arrests, blockades: Riotous anti-Israel campus protests continue to wreak havoc nationwide

At one Calif. university, campus is shut down as protestors occupy building and refuse to leave

Riotous anti-Israel protests on Wednesday continued to wreak havoc on several campuses across the nation.

At the University of Texas at Austin, a protest there descended into chaos and required officers in riot gear and several dozen arrests to quell the rowdy crowd, according to local news reports.

But “student protesters regrouped on the South Mall, where they temporarily set up a handful of tents,” the Texas Tribune reported.

“Law enforcement drove marchers off the lawn​, forming a perimeter behind a chain-link barrier and pushing them onto the sidewalks. A procession of mounted state troopers and officers on foot then herded students farther using body shields and their horses, which at times came within grazing distance of protesters. Spectators climbed onto trees, people’s shoulders and balconies to watch the commotion.”

Arrests were also made at the University of Southern California.

“LAPD officers in riot gear arrested at least 35 people as they moved to clear an encampment at the center of the USC campus that formed in protest against the Israel-Hamas war,” the Los Angeles Times reported, adding:

On Wednesday, the tents at USC repeatedly went up and down, as officers with the campus Department of Public Safety told students to remove them and, at one point, dragged away lawn chairs. Students picked up their tents and walked with them in circles to avoid being in violation of a university “no camping” policy. At least two Los Angeles Police Department helicopters circled above Alumni Park throughout the afternoon.

The pro-Palestinian protest at Cal Poly Humboldt got so out of hand this week that after “a violent clash with campus and local police Monday night,” students there took over a building and barricaded themselves in, the Sacramento Bee reported, adding:

As students occupied the hall, the mood around Siemens Hall was joyful. Several hundred students milled about the quad around the occupied building Tuesday night, making signs, participating in dabke dance lessons from a Palestinian student activist, and lighting candles at a makeshift altar. A local band set up and to play live music as community members settled in for the night in tents while they ate homemade Mexican food, practiced yoga, and burned sage.

The university announced on its website Wednesday afternoon the campus would be closed due to the protest.

“Protestors continue to occupy Siemens Hall, plus another building at Cal Poly Humboldt. Campus will now be closed through the weekend, and work and instruction continue to be remote. The University is making various contingency plans, including possibly keeping campus closed beyond that,” according to the statement, which added:

The safety, health, and wellbeing of our students is paramount as the situation has become increasingly complex. There are unidentified non-students with unknown intentions, in Siemens Hall. This creates an unpredictable environment. In addition, all entrances to the building are barricaded, creating a fire hazard. Adding to health and safety concerns, many toilets are no longer working.

The occupation of Siemens Hall causes complex operational challenges that require the closure of other facilities on campus. In particular, there is a risk of other buildings being occupied, as protestors have shown a willingness to enter unlocked buildings and either lock themselves in or steal equipment. The occupation is also having a negative impact on other students, who are trying to complete classes at the end of the semester. …

Numerous laws have been broken, including resisting arrest, destroying and damaging property, criminal trespass, and more.

These protests and encampments came as universities in New York City faced a chaotic week, with both Columbia and New York University sending in police to arrest dozens of student demonstrators who refused to disperse from their occupation encampments.

“The events of the past week are the latest crescendo in a movement that has seen more than 8,000 pro-Palestine protests in over 850 cities and towns across the U.S., according to data compiled by researchers at the Harvard Kennedy School and the University of Connecticut,” The Wall Street Journal reported.

“Organizers, law-enforcement officials and political leaders are now girding for a summer of protests, potentially culminating with July’s GOP convention in Milwaukee and August’s Democratic convention in Chicago, the same city marred by violence during anti-Vietnam War activism in 1968,” it added.

MORE: Pro-Palestinian students set up ‘liberation zone’ encampment in Harvard Yard

IMAGE: screenshot

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

Please join the conversation about our stories on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, MeWe, Rumble, Gab, Minds and Gettr.

About the Author
Fix Editor
Jennifer Kabbany is editor-in-chief of The College Fix.