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Police arrest hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists at California University as protests disrupt colleges across US
US campus protest
Photo courtesy: Videograb of protests at UCLA

Police arrest hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists at California University as protests disrupt colleges across US

| @indiablooms | 03 May 2024, 12:07 am

Los Angeles/IBNS: Police have arrested pro-Palestinian protesters on college campuses across the US overnight, mostly from the University of California in Los Angeles, where chaos broke out as officers in riot gear surged against a crowd of demonstrators.

The situation turned violent as police removed barricades and began dismantling demonstrators’ fortified encampment at UCLA after hundreds of protesters defied orders to leave.

The protesters formed human chains as police fired flash bangs to break up the crowds.

At least 132 people were arrested at UCLA, Sgt. Alejandro Rubio of the California Highway Patrol was quoted as saying by the AP.

Rubio said the arrestees were lodged at the county jails complex near downtown Los Angeles. UCLA police will determine what if any charges to seek.

Numerous workers entered the former encampment site Thursday morning and began an extensive cleanup as tents and trash were dumped across campus sidewalks and lawns. Some buildings were covered in graffiti.

Meanwhile, pro-Israel protests are also taking place at George Washington University in Washington, DC.

A group of pro-Israel protesters, including relatives of hostages held by Hamas and students from other local universities have gathered in a small yard on the George Washington campus, giving speeches and chanting “bring them home."

So far, the protests at the George Washington University campus have been peaceful, with law enforcement positioned near them closely watching.

In another instance, Portland police officers in riot gear were in a standoff with protesters outside Portland State University's library on Thursday.

The standoff came as authorities worked to clear pro-Palestinian protesters from the premises.

The Portland Police Bureau made at least two arrests early this morning. A CNN crew on the ground witnessed officers take at least five people into custody.

Senate leaders in both parties are seeking an agreement from their rank-and-file members to process the Antisemitism Awareness Act, which passed the House Wednesday, according to a Senate leadership aide. 

The bill would mandate that when the Department of Education enforces federal anti-discrimination laws it uses a definition of antisemitism put forward by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

Supporters of the legislation say it will help combat antisemitism on college campuses, but opponents say it overreaches and threatens to chill free speech.

While it passed on a broad bipartisan vote 320-91, no votes from each party indicate that it would be difficult to get a unanimous consent agreement in the Senate.

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