14-Jul-2024  Srinagar booked.net

World

At least 2200 Arrested Across US Universities: Report

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At least 2,200 people have been arrested by US police for protesting against Israel’s war on Gaza at multiple university campuses across the United States since April 17, according to media reports, with riot police being deployed in universities who used stun grenades, rubber bullets, flash-bang devices to clear tent encampments.

Initially, the protests began at Columbia University on April 17, with students demanding their universities to cut financial ties and divest from investments in Israel or any firms complicit in Israeli abuses.

The administration retaliated with a crackdown, arresting more than 100 students, which became a trigger for the protest to spread across US universities and other parts of the world.

US President Joe Biden on Thursday defended the ‘right of students to peaceful protest’ but decried the ‘disorder’.

In a brief news conference at the White House on Thursday, Biden said: “Dissent is essential for democracy but dissent must never lead to disorder.”

“Vandalism, trespassing, breaking windows, shutting down campuses, forcing the cancellation of classes and graduation — none of this is a peaceful protest.”

Biden's comments came shortly after police arrested at least 132 student protesters at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), early on Thursday, and cleared out an encampment using excessive force.

However, Biden did not make remarks on reports of pro-Israel demonstrators attacking pro-Palestinian demonstrators at the UCLA encampment this week.

Meanwhile, the US Congress has passed a bill that will change the legal definition of anti-Semitism to criticizing Israel.