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The Wessex Wire

The Wessex Wire

Pro-Palestinian protests erupt throughout the nation

Columbia+University+students+walk+past+the+pro-Palestinian+protest+encampment+on+campus+on+April+23%2C+the+day+after+an+NYPD+raid+that+led+to+hundreds+of+arrests+at+Columbia+and+City+College+of+New+York.+Nationwide%2C+protests+have+erupted+on+dozens+of+college+campuses+in+the+wake+of+crackdowns+on+student+protests+at+Columbia+and+UCLA.
Pamela Drew (CC BY-NC 2.0 DEED)
Columbia University students walk past the pro-Palestinian protest encampment on campus on April 23, the day after an NYPD raid that led to hundreds of arrests at Columbia and City College of New York. Nationwide, protests have erupted on dozens of college campuses in the wake of crackdowns on student protests at Columbia and UCLA.

Throughout the past few weeks, college campuses throughout the nation have seen many protests about the Israel-Hamas War. Many protesters, including both students and outside protesters, have been arrested and suspended from colleges nationwide. 

These protests started out on Columbia University’s campus where pro-Palestinian protestors set up an encampment zone on the university’s property. Protestors called it the “Liberation Zone” and it immediately broke headlines. Additionally, students stormed a Columbia building and barricaded themselves there, until the police came in and arrested them. Soon after, pro-Palestine protestors at dozens of other colleges followed and set up their own encampments. Some of the most notable protests have occurred at University of California, Los Angeles, University of Southern California (USC), University of Minnesota and many of the Ivy League schools, according to a CNN article from May 1. These campus protests have been the most famous since they have appeared across all news networks and have had the biggest presence of protesters. 

Protests also struck on USC’s campus after their valedictorian was banned from speaking at their graduation ceremony because of remarks she has made about the Israel-Hamas war, according to a Guardian article from April 26. Many students and some faculty were very upset with this decision, though the protests in response to this decision got out of hand. 

There have been mass arrests throughout the nation, but each college is handling the protests in different ways. For example, the University of Texas had the National Guard sent to disperse violent protesters. Though on the other hand, Columbia University did not send police to deal with protesters until nearly a week after the protests started. Many Jewish students on all of these campuses have reported that they feel unsafe and that there have been instances of Jewish students being threatened and followed. There have also been instances of pro-Israeli protesters on these campuses and there have been a lot of reported tension between the two groups.

These protests occur at a crucial time in President Biden’s re-election campaign. Biden has lost a lot of Arab support in battleground states like Michigan, but it is not yet clear how the protests and the conflict as a whole will affect election day.


Photo credit: “Columbia Encampment Day After NYPD Raid” by Pamela Drew is licensed under (CC BY-NC 2.0 DEED)

 

Behind the Byline
Gabe Herman
Gabe Herman, News and Features Editor
Gabe Herman is a News & Features Section Editor for the Wessex Wire. He is in the class of 2025 and started taking journalism in his freshman year. A fun fact about Gabe is that he loves to cook, travel, and spend time with his family and friends.
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