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Hundreds arrested across US campuses as pro-Palestinian protesters clash with police

Four officers were injured during the protests.
Georgia State Patrol officers detain a demonstrator on the campus of Emory University during a pro-Palestinian demonstration.
Posted at 10:11 AM, Apr 25, 2024

Across colleges in the United States, students are leading protests against the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, as well as institutional ties between universities and Israel.

These protests have prompted the deployment of law enforcement, resulting in the arrests of hundreds of students and some injured officers.

Over 100 people were arrested at Emerson College as pro-Palestinian protesters clashed with police.

The Boston Police Department confirmed the arrests of 108 people at Emerson and said four officers were injured in the clashes.Three of those officers have minor injuries and one is more serious, police said.

The incident happened in the early hours of Thursday morning at an encampment set up by students to show solidarity with pro-Palestinian protesters arrested at Columbia University last week, according to local outlet WCVB.

Police said no protesters in custody were injured, and that they will be arraigned at Boston Municipal Court.

In Atlanta, several protesters were detained Thursday during demonstrations at Emory University. According to The Emory Wheel, the school's newspaper, campus police alongside the Atlanta Police Department and Georgia State Patrol started using gas and arresting protesters at around 10:15 a.m.

While the number of people arrested in Atlanta is not yet known, we do know that some of the protesters detained were faculty members. Around noon, local reporter Patrick Quinn from Atlanta News First posted a video showing the apprehension of Noelle McAfee, the chair of the Philosophy Department at Emory University.

Georgia Rep. Ruwa Romman took to social media to call out the police for using excessive force in these arrests.

“The use of extreme anti-riot tactics by Georgia State Patrol, including tasers and gas, is a dangerous escalation to protests which were by all accounts peaceful and nonviolent,” said Romman. “We cannot allow this dangerous repression to continue.”

Also early on Thursday, the Los Angeles Police Department reported that they had arrested 93 people during Wednesday's demonstrations at the University of Southern California. Fortunately, there were no reports of injuries.

Following the protests, USC announced that they would be canceling their main stage graduation ceremony, an event that usually hosts over 65,000 people, due to security concerns.

In Indiana, police officers have arrested multiple demonstrators at Indiana University, with the American Civil Liberties Union reporting that they are monitoring the situation. They emphasized, "The First Amendment is central to our democracy. Suppressing these rights through unwarranted police action weakens our society's commitment to free speech."
These protests follow a pattern of rallies happening on college campuses nationwide.

On Wednesday, police at the University of Texas at Austin detained over 50 demonstrators, with officers pushing and aggressively detaining some, according to The Daily Texan.

In the case of Columbia University, classes went virtual after recent protests in an effort to "deescalate the rancor" over the humanitarian crisis following the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza and address security concerns on campus amid the Jewish holiday of Passover.