United States: clashes between pro-Palestinians and pro-Israelis in universities

Clashes broke out during the night of Tuesday/Wednesday, on the sidelines of a pro-Palestinian march on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles, according to police and images broadcast on American television.

The Los Angeles Police Department announced on Channel

The demonstrators and counter-protesters clashed with sticks, threw objects at each other and set off fireworks, according to television footage.

CNN reported that the clashes took place between pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel groups.

On Tuesday evening, the New York Police expelled the pro-Palestinian demonstrators holed up in a building at Columbia University, and intervened militarily at the pro-Palestinian mobilization center at American universities.

As is the case elsewhere, students at Columbia University, a private university, want the administration to cut ties with sponsors or companies linked to Israel.

The elite campus in the Northeast, Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, announced an agreement with students to dismantle the camp in exchange for a university vote in October to “divest from companies that make the Gaza genocide possible and profit from it.”

Over the course of two weeks, university leaders across the United States faced protesters, sometimes numbering only a few dozen, who occupied their campuses to oppose Israel’s war in Gaza against Hamas.

So the pro-Palestinian students set up camp in the heart of the UCLA campus, on a park surrounded by barricades.

The chancellor of the University of California, Jane D. Block had warned before these clashes about the presence of people from outside the university.

On Sunday, pro-Palestinian and Israeli activists, supported by several off-campus demonstrators, clashed with shoving and insults.

“Many demonstrators and opposition demonstrators are carrying out their activities peacefully. But others use shocking and frankly shameful methods.”

“We have witnessed acts of violence,” he added. “These events, especially among our Jewish students, have caused deep anxiety and fear.”

Hundreds of others – students, professors and activists – were interrogated, arrested and sometimes prosecuted on several campuses across the country.

Images of riot police intervening on campuses, upon request, have spread around the world, bringing to mind similar events in the United States during the Vietnam War.

The protests have reignited the tense debate since the Hamas attack in Israel on October 7, over freedom of expression, constitutional rights, and accusations of anti-Semitism.

The country has the largest number of Jews in the world after Israel, and millions of Arab-American Muslims.

Six months before the presidential elections in a polarized country, this student movement has sparked strong reactions from the political world.

Republican candidate Donald Trump said Tuesday evening on Fox News that Joe Biden “must do something” against these “paid agitators.” He added: “We must put an end to the anti-Semitism that our country suffers from today.”

“While Columbia University is mired in chaos, Joe Biden is absent because he is afraid to address the issue,” House Republican Leader Mike Johnson wrote on Channel X in the evening.

John Kirby, spokesman for Democratic President Joe Biden’s National Security Council, said before the police intervention: “Forcibly occupying a university building is the wrong approach” and does not represent “an example of peaceful demonstration.”

From: Fez News website

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