25 arrested at University of Virginia after police conflict with pro-Palestinian protesters

Twenty-five individuals had been arrested Saturday for trespassing on the University of Virginia after police clashed with pro-Palestinian protesters.

Pro-Palestinian protesters display throughout the University of Michigan’s Spring 2024 Commencement Ceremony at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich., on Saturday, May 4, 2024.( Jacob Hamilton/Ann Arbor News by way of AP)(AP/Jacob Hamilton | MLive.com)

Twenty-five individuals had been arrested Saturday for trespassing on the University of Virginia after police clashed with pro-Palestinian protesters who refused to take away tents from campus, and demonstrators on the University of Michigan chanted anti-war messages and waved flags throughout graduation ceremonies.

In Virginia, scholar demonstrators started their protest on a garden exterior the varsity chapel Tuesday. On Saturday, video from WVAW-TV confirmed police sporting heavy gear and holding shields lined up on the campus in Charlottesville. Protesters chanted “Free Palestine,” and college police stated on the social platform X that an “illegal meeting” had been declared within the space.

As police moved in, college students had been pushed to the bottom, pulled by their arms and sprayed with a chemical irritant, Laura Goldblatt, an assistant professor of English and world research who has been serving to scholar demonstrators, informed The Washington Post.

“Our concern since this started has been the protection of our college students. Students should not protected proper now,” Goldblatt stated.

The college administration stated in a press release that the demonstrators had been informed the tents and canopies they erected had been prohibited below faculty coverage and had been requested to take away them. Virginia State Police had been requested to assist with enforcement, the college stated.

It was the most recent conflict in a number of tense and generally violent weeks at faculties and universities across the nation which have seen dozens of protests and a whole bunch of arrests at demonstrations over the continued Israel-Hamas struggle.

Tent encampments of protesters calling on universities to cease doing enterprise with Israel or firms they are saying assist the struggle in Gaza have unfold throughout campuses nationwide in a scholar motion not like another this century. Some faculties have reached agreements with protesters to finish the demonstrations and cut back the opportunity of disrupting last exams and commencements.

The Associated Press has recorded not less than 61 incidents since April 18 during which arrests had been made at protests, with greater than 2,400 individuals being arrested on 47 campuses. The figures are based mostly on AP reporting and statements from universities and legislation enforcement companies.

Many encampments have been dismantled.

Michigan was among the many faculties bracing for protests throughout graduation this weekend, together with Indiana University, Ohio State University and Northeastern University in Boston. Many extra are slated within the coming weeks.

In Ann Arbor, the protest occurred originally of the occasion at Michigan Stadium. About 75 individuals, many sporting conventional Arabic kaffiyehs together with their commencement caps, marched up the primary aisle towards the commencement stage.

They chanted “Regents, regents, you may’t cover! You are funding genocide!” whereas holding indicators, together with one which learn: “No universities left in Gaza.”

Overhead, planes flew banners with competing messages. “Divest from Israel now! Free Palestine!” and “We stand with Israel. Jewish lives matter.”

Officials stated nobody was arrested, and the protest didn’t critically interrupt the almost two-hour occasion, which was attended by tens of hundreds of individuals, a few of them waving Israeli flags.

State police prevented the demonstrators from reaching the stage and college spokesperson Colleen Mastony stated public security personnel escorted the protesters to the rear of the stadium, the place they remained by means of the conclusion of the occasion.

“Peaceful protests like this have taken place at U-M graduation ceremonies for many years,” she added.

The college has allowed protesters to arrange an encampment on campus, however police assisted in breaking apart a big gathering at a graduation-related occasion Friday night time, and one particular person was arrested.

At Indiana, protesters had been urging supporters to put on their kaffiyehs and stroll out throughout remarks by President Pamela Whitten on Saturday night. The Bloomington campus designated a protest zone exterior Memorial Stadium, the world for the ceremony.

At Princeton, in New Jersey, 18 college students launched a starvation strike in an effort to push the college to divest from firms tied to Israel.

One of them, senior David Chmielewski stated in an electronic mail that the strike began Friday morning with members consuming water solely, and it’ll proceed till directors meet with college students about calls for together with amnesty from legal and disciplinary costs for protesters.

Other demonstrators are collaborating in “solidarity fasts” lasting 24 hours, Chmielewski stated.

Princeton college students arrange a protest encampment and a few held a sit-in at an administrative constructing this week, resulting in about 15 arrests.

Students at different faculties, together with Brown and Yale, launched related starvation strikes earlier this 12 months earlier than the more moderen wave of encampments.

Meanwhile in Medford, Massachusetts, college students at Tufts University peacefully took down their encampment with out police intervention Friday night time.

School officers stated they had been happy with the event, which wasn’t the results of any settlement. Protest organizers stated in a press release that they had been “deeply angered and upset” that negotiations with the college had failed.

The protests stem from the battle that began Oct. 7 when Hamas militants attacked southern Israel, killing about 1,200 individuals, largely civilians, and taking roughly 250 hostages.

Vowing to destroy Hamas, Israel launched an offensive in Gaza that has killed greater than 34,500 Palestinians, round two-thirds of them ladies and youngsters, in accordance with the Health Ministry within the Hamas-ruled territory. Israeli strikes have devastated the enclave and displaced most of its inhabitants.


Marcelo reported from New York. Lavoie reported from Richmond, Virginia. Associated Press reporters Ed White in Detroit, Nick Perry in Boston and Adrian Sainz in Memphis, Tennessee, contributed.

© 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials is probably not printed, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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