Nationwide Campus Protests for Gaza Draw Thousands of Arrests

  • Naomi Dela Cruz
  • U.S.A
  • May 16, 2024

University campuses across the United States have become a flashpoint for demonstrations in support of the people of Gaza. From prestigious Ivy League schools to local state universities, student activism has seen over 2,000 arrests since mid-April, according to the Associated Press.

The protests began with encampments set up by students on at least 50 campuses. These encampments aimed to raise awareness about the ongoing conflict in Gaza. However, tensions escalated when police at Columbia University moved to dismantle their protest camp in mid-April. This sparked similar actions at universities across the country, leading to a surge in arrests.

Opinions are divided on the response by authorities. One young protestor in New York City, interviewed by local media, defended the encampments, stating, “Our encampments are very peaceful; rarely people come in and come out.” They placed the blame for rising tensions on the police, claiming their actions were unnecessarily aggressive.

However, not everyone supports the student protests. Another interviewee expressed concern for the Palestinian people but disagreed with the disruptive tactics. “I care for Palestinian people,” they said, “but I don’t support students’ protests disrupting campuses.”

The ongoing situation in Gaza and the response of U.S. universities will likely continue to be a source of debate and protest. It remains to be seen how this issue will be resolved and whether a peaceful resolution can be found on both the campuses and the international stage.