More Arrests – US Student Protest Movement for Gaza Continues

Shrine at the Duck Pond encampment for Gaza on the University of New Mexico campus. (Photo: via SamidounAbq IG Page)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

“Apartheid does not end with a ceasefire, it ends with equal rights. We will call for divestment until international law is respected.”

Student protests continue at colleges and universities across the United States over Israel’s ongoing war on the Gaza Strip, with arrests reported on Saturday by two more schools.

At least 25 protesters were arrested at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville for trespassing following police intervention to disperse a pro-Palestine encampment on campus, reported the Anadolu news agency.

“A pro-Palestinian protest on (university) grounds came to an end Saturday after University, local and state police cleared the area following multiple and repeated violations of several University policies, including the use of tents and amplified sound. Subsequent violent conduct along with failure to follow law-enforcement directions led to the declaration of an unlawful assembly,” the university reportedly said.

“Before Saturday’s standoff with law enforcement, which resulted in 25 arrests as of Saturday evening, the demonstration that began on Tuesday had been peaceful and complied with University policies,” it added.

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‘No Justice, No Peace’

In a statement on the Instagram page, UVA Encampment for Gaza, the protest movement condemned the arrests of those who were “protesting genocide and standing up to fascist state violence.”

The statement said those arrested have been charged with trespassing and are not allowed on university grounds, “denying students housing and preventing students from taking final exams.”

They called on “all UVA organizations and groups to publicly back our demand to drop all charges and no trespass orders immediately.”

“No trespassing on stolen land. No justice, no peace,” the movement added.

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Art Institute of Chicago

Separately, as many as 50 protesters were arrested at the Art Institute of Chicago, according to the school.

“Today, a group of individuals, including some SAIC (School of the Art Institute of Chicago) students, began a protest in the museum’s North Garden, and as it progressed, protesters surrounded and shoved a security officer and stole their keys to the museum, blocked emergency exits, and barricaded gates. The protest also began to escalate on Michigan Avenue outside of the museum.”

The university offered the demonstrators an alternative location to continue their protest on campus, but they rejected it, according to the statement.

“During multiple rounds of negotiations, SAIC student protesters were promised amnesty from academic sanction and trespassing charges if they agreed to relocate. The School also agreed to meet with a student group to discuss their demands. After approximately five hours, an agreement could not be reached.”

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International Law

The arrests and crackdowns come amid a wave of US university student protests against Israel’s ongoing war on Gaza.

The protest movement began last month with students at the New York campus of Columbia University.

Students demanded that Columbia University divest from its financial holdings in firms that profit from the Israeli occupation in Palestine.

In a statement on X on Sunday, the Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) said “Even when their coverage is positive, media outlets continue to paint us as anti-war protesters instead of anti-genocide and anti-apartheid.”

“Apartheid does not end with a ceasefire, it ends with equal rights. We will call for divestment until international law is respected,” the SJP movement added.

More than 2,000 protesters have reportedly been arrested across the US.

Over 34,600 Killed

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 34,683 Palestinians have been killed, and 78,018 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 11,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

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The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’.

(Anadolu, PC)

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