The Latest | Police Break Up Protests, Make Arrests at UCLA, Yale, Dartmouth, New York Schools

May 2, 2024
The Latest | Police Break Up Protests, Make Arrests at UCLA, Yale, Dartmouth, New York Schools
The word "Peace" written by a anti-war protesters is displayed on the windows at Millar Library at Portland State University, Wednesday, May 1, 2024, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

AP — Arrests continue on campuses around the U.S. as police dismantle camps of students protesting Israel’s war in Gaza. At UCLA, officers removed barricades and moved in on hundreds of protesters who defied orders to leave, scuffling with protesters and detaining some.

Other arrests were made at Yale University, Dartmouth College, and the New York State universities at Buffalo and Stony Brook, among other campuses. The Associated Press has tallied at least 38 times since April 18 where arrests were made at campus protests across the U.S. More than 1,600 people have been arrested at 30 schools.

Currently:

— Police using flash-bangs break up human chains at UCLA, making arrests and dismantling protest

— Biden mum on campus crackdowns as Republicans seek to use protests against Democrats

— Eying campus protests, House passes bill to define criticism of Israel as antisemitic

— Timeline: How Columbia University’s protest launched campus demonstratons around the U.S.

Here’s the latest:

VIDEO SHOWS YALE OFFICERS ARRESTING FOUR AMONG CROWD OF HUNDREDS

Yale police arrested four people Wednesday night after around 200 demonstrators had marched to the school president’s home and to the campus police department, Yale officials said. School officials said in a statement Thursday that protesters ignored repeated warnings that they were violating university policy on occupying parts of campus without permission. Two of those arrested were students, and the others were not, Yale said.

The protest group Occupy Yale said campus police were violent during the arrests and did not issue warnings beforehand. The group posted a video in Instagram showing officers bringing one arrestee to the ground and pinning another on a sidewalk.

“A peaceful protest,” Occupy Yale said. “Police officers seized, pushed, and brutalized people. Is this what you call keeping campus safe?”

Wednesday night’s protest at Yale came a day after a U.S. House of Representatives committee announced that the presidents of Yale, UCLA and Michigan will appear before the panel on May 23 to answer questions about campus protests.

DARTMOUTH COLLEGE PRESIDENT DEFENDS ARRESTS OF 90 PEOPLE AT PROTEST

Dartmouth College President Sian Leah Beilock defended the decision to arrest around 90 people Wednesday night, hours after an encampment had set up protesting the war.

“Last night, people felt so strongly about their beliefs that they were willing to face disciplinary action and arrest. While there is bravery in that, part of choosing to engage in this way is not just acknowledging — but accepting — that actions have consequences,” she said in a statement. She cited campus policies prohibiting demonstrations that interfere with Dartmouth’s academic mission or increase safety risks.

“When policies like these have been ignored on other campuses, hate and violence have thrived — events, like commencement, are canceled, instruction is forced to go remote, and, worst of all, abhorrent antisemitism and Islamophobia reign,” Beilock said.

PRO-PALESTINIAN DEMONSTRATORS ARRESTED AT NEW YORK STATE UNIVERSITIES

In New York, protesters were arrested overnight at Stony Brook University and the University at Buffalo, two campuses of the state university system.

A University at Buffalo spokesperson said 16 people were arrested late Wednesday after failing to comply with an order to disperse. Newsday reported that police arrested several dozen protesters at a Stony Brook encampment early Thursday and forced others to leave.

POLICE DISMANTLING UCLA TENT CAMP, TAKING STUDENTS INTO CUSTODY

Police removed barricades and began dismantling a pro-Palestinian demonstrators’ fortified encampment early Thursday at the University of California, Los Angeles, after hundreds of protesters defied orders to leave. Some people were detained, their hands bound with zip ties.

The action came after officers spent hours threatening arrests over loudspeakers if people did not disperse. A crowd of more than 1,000 had gathered on campus, both inside a barricaded tent encampment and outside it, in support. Protesters and police shoved and scuffled as officers encountered resistance.

With police helicopters hovering, the air was pierced by the sound of flash-bangs, which produce a bright light and a loud noise to disorient and stun people. Protesters chanted, “Where were you last night?” at the officers, in reference to Tuesday night, when counterprotesters attacked the encampment and the UCLA administration and campus police took hours to respond.

In the Mideast, Iranian state television carried live images of the police action, as did Qatar’s pan-Arab Al Jazeera satellite network. Live images of Los Angeles also played across Israeli television networks, as well.

California Highway Patrol officers poured into the campus by the hundreds early Thursday. Wearing face shields and protective vests, they stood with their batons protruding out to separate them from demonstrators, who wore helmets and gas masks and chanted, “You want peace. We want justice.”

MUSLIM ORGANIZATIONS BLAST UCLA FOR FAILURE TO INTERVENE

Muslim organizations and students blasted UCLA officials and police in a Wednesday news conference, saying they failed to intervene as students in pro-Palestinian encampment on the Los Angeles campus were verbally harassed, pepper sprayed and beaten during a brawl with counter-protesters earlier in the day.

“The community needs to feel the police are protecting them, not enabling others to harm them,” said Rebecca Husaini, chief of staff for the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

Speakers disputed the university’s account that 15 people were injured and one hospitalized, saying the number of people taken to the hospital was higher. One student described needing to go to the hospital after being hit in the head by an object wielded by counter-protesters.

Several students who spoke said they had to rely on each other, not the police, for support as they were attacked, and that many in the pro-Palestinian encampment remained peaceful and did not engage with counter-protesters.

UCLA CHANCELLOR SAYS INSTIGATORS CAME ON CAMPUS

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said in a statement Wednesday that “a group of instigators” came on campus to “forcefully attack” the pro-Palestinian encampment, prompting the school to ask for assistance from outside law enforcement agencies.

“However one feels about the encampment, this attack on our students, faculty and community members was utterly unacceptable,” Block said. “It has shaken our campus to its core.”

Block promised the university will conduct a thorough investigation.

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY TO HOLD REMOTE EXAMS

The Provost at Columbia University in New York says all final exams and any remaining class sessions should be held remotely for students at its Morningside Heights campus. Any papers, projects or presentations due this week also are being delayed until next week.

The university has been paralyzed by demonstrations, and police have cleared out a building that had been occupied by anti-war protesters.

The university is strongly encouraging students to leave campus and go home early for the semester.

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