Police arrest dozens of protesters while clearing protest camps on US campuses

Police arrest dozens of protesters while clearing protest camps on US campuses
Police arrest dozens of protesters while clearing protest camps on US campuses

The breakup at the University of Pennsylvania occurred around 5:30 a.m., when campus and Philadelphia police intervened to remove protesters from an encampment that had been in place for more than two weeks. School officials indicated that protesters were given warnings and the opportunity to leave without being detained. About 33 people, including faculty members and seven students, were among those arrested without incident and charged with trespassing, the school said.

In Cambridge, Massachusetts, video showed police sweeping through the MIT camp. Police in riot gear arrived around 4 a.m., surrounded the camp and gave protesters about 15 minutes to leave. Ten students who stayed there were arrested, the university president said. A crowd outside the camp began to gather and shout pro-Palestinian slogans, but they were dispersed by 6am.

At the University of Arizona in Tucson, campus police in riot gear fired tear gas Thursday afternoon at protesters and later dismantled an encampment that included wood and plastic barriers on campus. In a statement, the university said the camp violated school policy, but did not say whether any protesters had been detained.

“A structure made of wooden pallets and other debris was erected on campus property after 5 p.m. in violation of policy,” the school said in a statement. “University officials issued warnings to remove the camp and disperse. The warnings were ignored.”

The school also said police vehicles were bugged, and rocks and water bottles were thrown at officers and university staff.

Tensions have risen in clashes with protesters on campuses in the United States and Europe. Some universities took immediate action, while others have tolerated the demonstrations. Some have begun to lose patience and call the police over concerns about disruptions to campus life and safety.

The protest movement began almost three weeks ago at Columbia University in New York City. It has since spread to college campuses across the country, with protesters typically seeking to draw attention to deaths from the war between Israel and Hamas or calling for their schools to stop doing business with Israel or companies that support their war efforts.

The Associated Press has recorded at least 75 instances since April 18 in which arrests were made at campus protests across the United States. Nearly 2,900 people have been arrested at 57 colleges and universities. The figures are based on AP reporting and statements from schools and law enforcement agencies.

The action taken by MIT came several days after police first attempted to clear the camp, but protesters managed to overcome the barriers and relocate the camp, which includes a dozen tents in the center of the campus. from Cambridge.

Before removing the camp, MIT had begun suspending dozens of students earlier in the week, meaning they would not be able to participate in academic activities or the graduation ceremony.


Associated Press writers Christopher L. Keller, Scott Sonner and Scott Bauer contributed to this report.


This story was translated from English by an AP editor with the help of a generative artificial intelligence tool.

FOUNTAIN: Associated Press

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