93 arrested at University of Southern California for anti-Israel protests

According to a university official, tensions escalated during the demonstrations, as at one time, protesters refused to relocate and remove their tents and other prohibited items…reports Asian Lite News

As protests against Israel mount in US universities, 93 people have been arrested on suspicion of trespassing during Wednesday’s demonstrations at the University of Southern California, reported CNN.

The Los Angeles Police Department informed that 93 people were arrested at the University of Southern California.

“The university is a private campus and the group had been violating some of their orders. It was a trespass at that point and we assisted with the arrests,” Los Angeles Police Captain Kelly Muniz said during a briefing.

Moreover, one person was also arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, Muniz said, as CNN reported.

No protesters or officers have been reported injured, police said.

The USC Department of Public Safety ordered protesters gathering at the campus’ Alumni Park on Wednesday afternoon to disperse or face arrest for trespassing, reported CNN.

According to a university official, tensions escalated during the demonstrations, as at one time, protesters refused to relocate and remove their tents and other prohibited items.

Following this, the university closed its campus on Wednesday evening as LAPD began arresting demonstrators.

Earlier on Thursday, House Speaker Mike Johnson called for the resignation of Columbia University’s president amid ongoing demonstrations sparked by pro-Palestinian sentiments at major American universities, CNN reported.

Protesters at Columbia University, where demonstrations ignited last week, demand the severance of ties with Israeli academic institutions and a complete divestment from entities linked to Israel amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.

House Speaker Mike Johnson emphasised the need for order on campus, stating that if the university president cannot restore calm, she should resign. However, student reactions to this call for resignation are varied, with some expressing willingness to continue working with her.

However, over 30 arrests were made during protests at the University of Texas in Austin.

The students are demanding that the US end its support for Israel, which has been embroiled in a war with Hamas in Gaza leading to the deaths of over 30,000 people, most of them women and children.

They also want the universities to cut ties with Israel and divest the investments of their endowments in arms manufacturers.

Students have been arrested at, among others, the University of Texas-Austin, New York University, Yale, Ohio State University, and the University of Southern California.

And, protest tent encampments have cropped up in dozens of universities including Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and University of California-Berkley, copying the Columbia model.

In Columbia University, students chanting, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” — which has been interpreted as a call to annihilate Israel — tried to drown him out as he spoke to reporters.

The surge in protests has pitted the principle of freedom of expression against university norms and the protection of the rights and safety of students.

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