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Arrests, Harassment of Student Encampments Continue over the Weekend

News reports over the last 48 hours have revealed ongoing arrests on university campuses where students have set up encampments or rallied against Israel’s genocide against Gaza. The protests have been peaceful.

On May 3, police arrested some 25 pro-Palestinian protesters and cleared an encampment at the University of Virginia. “Tensions flared at UVA’s campus in Charlottesville, where protests had been largely peaceful until Saturday morning, when police officers in riot gear were seen in a video moving on an encampment on the campus’ lawn, cuffing some demonstrators with zip-ties and using what appeared to be chemical spray,” reported Reuters.

“Jim Ryan, UVA’s president, wrote in a message that officials had learned that ‘individuals unaffiliated with the university'’ who presented ‘some safety concerns’ had joined protesters on campus. It wasn’t immediately clear how many of those arrested were UVA students.”

In Chicago, “dozens of people were arrested for criminal trespass outside the Art Institute of Chicago at a demonstration on Saturday after the institute called in police to remove protesters it said were illegally occupying its property, the Chicago Police Department said on X,” wrote Reuters.

At the University of Southern California, “Dozens of Los Angeles Police Department officers arrived about 4 a.m. at USC to assist campus safety officers. The university had warned of arrests on social media and in person. Video showed some protesters packing up and leaving, while officers formed lines to push others away from the camp as it emptied out. The university said there were no reports of any arrests,” wrote AP.

“USC President Carol Folt said it was time to draw a line [against peace protesters] because ‘the occupation was spiraling in a dangerous direction’ with areas of campus blocked and people being harassed.”

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