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US Police arrest dozens to clear off pro-Palestinian encampment at George Washington University
US campus protests
Videograbs of protests at George Washington University

US Police arrest dozens to clear off pro-Palestinian encampment at George Washington University

| @@indiablooms | 09 May 2024, 12:53 am

Washington DC/IBNS: Washington Police Wednesday cleared an encampment of pro-Palestinian protesters at US's George Washington University after making several pre-dawn arrests, media reports said.

Just after 4:00 am local time, hundreds of officers moved in on a university quad, making arrests and using pepper spray, the student-run GW Hatchet newspaper reported.

According to a CNN report, around three dozen people were arrested and remained at the campus till 10 am.

As a part of clearing the encampment, tents were being dragged toward a garbage truck even as a student held a poster reading "Free Palestine" on the sidewalk.

The arrests came as the mayor and police chief from the nation's capital were expected to testify in front of Congress later in the day about why the encampment -- which had entered its second week -- had taken so long to clear.

In a statement, the police said it had tried to "deescalate tensions" without arrests, but based on "incidents and information, there has been a gradual escalation in the volatility of the protest."

Campus protests have been on the rise across the US in recent weeks, with students demonstrating against the war in Gaza and calling on universities to cut direct or indirect financial ties with US weapons manufacturers and Israeli institutions.

Some Jewish students have reported threats and anti-Semitism, while pro-Israel counter-protesters at the University of California, Los Angeles, physically attacked demonstrators at an encampment.

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden condemned a "ferocious surge" in anti-Semitism in a speech at the Capitol, saying "there's no place on any campus in America -- any place in America -- for anti-Semitism or hate speech or threats of violence of any kind."

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