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UArizona fences area used in Pro Palestine protests

Large section of main mall a no trespassing zone
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Posted at 3:15 PM, Apr 30, 2024

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — There’s a fence blocking the way to the heart of the University of Arizona campus. The University has fenced off an area popular for recent Pro-Palestinian demonstrations.

At the University of Arizona, something new has been added: a barrier that stretches from Old Main to the end of the memorial for the Battleship Arizona.

Students woke up Tuesday morning to hundreds of feet of portable fencing surrounding the busiest section of the main mall; the section near the Student Union. No trespassing signs and signs warning of arrest and prosecution warn away anyone who might hop the low fence and enter the restricted area.

That area has been the center of Pro Palestinian protests and efforts to camp on the site. Pro Palestinian encampments have appeared on many college campuses.

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We wanted to hear from students who have not taken a side in the Palestinian issue.
They told us the demonstrations have caused disruptions in their daily routine, and detouring around the fenced zone has been a time-consuming hassle but they support the right to protest.

UA Freshman Nate Loolo says: "I generally liked the protests. They're standing up for what's going on in Palestine and other stuff that they believe in which I mean, as a student, you should be able to have a voice to do that."

Sophomore Kyle Thornton thinks: "It's a little aggravating. But I'm not going to tell anyone they can't speak their voice, but it definitely gets a little old pretty quick. And it's just, it's annoying to be around sometimes, because there's just no valid points being made on either side, everyone's just yelling at each other and there's no common ground that's ever been found.”

Sophomore Samantha Dahin says,"I heard last night that people were sleeping on the mall. That's all I know about it. I consider that peaceful protesting and I know that we have the right to free speech. So I think that we should be allowed for that. If it gets violent, I think that there should be steps taken, but I don't think people should be prevented from protesting and the right to free speech.”

It’s not clear how long UA will keep the fence up.

RELATED:

UA pro-Palestine protest relocates to Park and University

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Craig Smith is a reporter for KGUN 9. With more than 40 years of reporting in cities like Tampa, Houston and Austin, Craig has covered more than 40 Space Shuttle launches and covered historic hurricanes like Katrina, Ivan, Andrew and Hugo. Share your story ideas and important issues with Craig by emailing craig.smith@kgun9.com or by connecting on Facebook and Twitter.