Campus camps: USC protesters comply with order to leave

Students struggle War in Gaza Northeastern University’s commencement began quietly at Boston’s Fenway Park as they abandoned their camp at the University of Southern California early Sunday morning, surrounded by police and threatened with arrest.

Developments in both places were closely watched following several arrests last month – 94 at USC in Los Angeles and about 100 to the northeast in Boston.

Los Angeles Police Department officers arrived at USC around 4 a.m. to assist campus security 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 as the camp emptied. The university said there were no reports of any arrests.

USC President Carol Folt said it was time to draw a line because “occupation was spiraling in a dangerous direction” with parts of campus blocked off and people being harassed.

“The operation was quiet,” Folt wrote in an update. “Campus is opening, students are returning to prepare for finals, and the commencement system is in full swing.”

Formerly USC It canceled its main graduation ceremony while allowing other initiation activities to proceed.

At Northeastern’s commencement Sunday, some students waved small Palestinian and Israeli flags, but those waving flags from India and the United States were outnumbered. Undergraduate student speaker Rebecca Bamidele drew brief cheers as she called for peace in Gaza.

The Associated Press counted about 2,500 people arrested on about 50 campuses since April 18, based on its reports and reports from universities and law enforcement.

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Arrests continued apace over the weekend. At the University of Virginia, 25 people were arrested Saturday for trespassing after police clashed with protesters who refused to remove tents. Hours after a pro-Palestinian camp set up on the campus of the Art Institute of Chicago on Saturday, police arrested 68 people and said they would be charged with criminal trespassing.

Arrests in Virginia

In Charlottesville, Virginia, student demonstrators began their protest on the lawn outside the school chapel on Tuesday. Video on Saturday showed police controlling the riot, holding shields and marching through the compound as protesters chanted “Free Palestine”.

As police moved in, students were pushed to the ground, dragged by their arms and sprayed with chemical irritants, assistant professor Laura Goldblatt, who has been assisting the protesters, told The Washington Post. The university said tents were prohibited under school policy and protesters were told to remove them.

A man protests in front of a police officer after police arrived at the University of Southern California campus to clear a camp set up by pro-Palestinian demonstrators, Sunday, May 5, 2024, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ryan Sun)

Virginia Attorney General Jason Miares told Fox News on Sunday that the police response was justified because he repeatedly warned students to leave, violated the school’s code of conduct, and had non-student outsiders handing protesters objects such as wooden sticks.

“We’ve seen non-students come in riot gear with bull horns to guide protesters on how to flank our officers,” Miares said.

He said some put bear spray in water bottles and threw it at officers.

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It was the latest clash in weeks of protests and tension at American colleges and universities.

Tent camps Protesters demanding universities Stop doing business with Israel Or companies claim support War in Gaza spread in the student movement Unlike anything else this century. Some schools Agreements were reached with protesters to end demonstrations and minimize the possibility of disrupting final exams and commencements.

Demonstrations amid the initiation

The University of Michigan is one of the schools preparing for protests During the initiation This weekend, Indiana University, Ohio State University and Northeastern. Ceremonies are planned in a few weeks.

In Ann Arbor, there was a protest at the start of the event at Michigan Stadium. About 75 people, many wearing traditional Arabic kaffiyehs and graduation caps, made their way down the main aisle toward the stage.

They chanted, “O kings, rulers, you cannot hide! You are financing genocide!” While holding signs that read “There are no universities in Gaza.”

Above, airplanes towed banners with competitive messages. “Get out of Israel now! Freedom for Palestine!” and “We stand with Israel. Jewish lives matter.”

Authorities said no arrests were made and the demonstration was not seriously disrupted by the roughly two-hour event attended by tens of thousands of people, some of whom waved Israeli flags.

People stand guard outside an encampment set up by pro-Palestinian demonstrators on the University of Southern California campus in Los Angeles, Saturday, May 4, 2024.  (AP Photo/Ryan Sun)

People stand guard outside an encampment set up by pro-Palestinian demonstrators on the University of Southern California campus in Los Angeles, Saturday, May 4, 2024. (AP Photo/Ryan Sun)

Other struggles continue

Protesters urged supporters to put on their coffees and leave during a speech at Indiana University on Saturday evening by Head of School Pamela Whitten. The Bloomington campus designated a protest zone outside Memorial Hall, where the ceremony was held.

At Princeton University in New Jersey, 18 students He started a hunger strike Try to push the university to divest from institutions tied to Israel. Students at other colleges, including Brown and Yale, began similar hunger strikes this year, even before the latest wave of protests.

The protests stem from a conflict that began when Hamas militants attacked southern Israel on October 7, killing about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking about 250 hostages. Vowing to destroy Hamas, Israel launched an offensive in Gaza that killed 34,500 Palestinians, two-thirds of them women and children, according to the Health Ministry in the Hamas-ruled territory. Israeli attacks have devastated the enclave and displaced most of its population.

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Perry reports from New York in the form of Meredith, New Hampshire and Marcelo. Associated Press reporters Christopher Weber in Los Angeles also contributed; Denise Lavoie in Richmond, Virginia; Ed White in Detroit and Adrian Sines in Memphis, Tennessee.

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