Pro-Palestine Protests Spread to 60 US Universities

Orinoco Tribune, April 28, 2024 —

Protests against the Israeli genocide of Palestinians in Gaza have already spread to some 60 universities in the United States, trying to increase pressure on US President Joe Biden, labeled as “Genocide Joe,” to withdraw support for Israel. The protests have been met with widespread police brutality and more than 500 detained in recent days.

For a week the police has tried to evict a pr-Palestine encampment in the campus of Columbia University in New York. According to a report by The New York Times on Friday, April 27, the protest movement has spread to at least 60 university campuses.

On Friday night, police arrested 36 students at Ohio State University, while several were arrested at Arizona State University according to the local ABC affiliate.

Meanwhile, on Friday, 57 students of the University of Texas at Austin who had been arrested earlier this week walked free, after the Prosecutor’s Office dismissed the charges against them for illegal entry into the campus.

Coercive measures have also been adopted by the university authorities to end the protests. The University of Texas announced on Friday in a statement that it had “temporarily suspended” the Palestine Solidarity Committee, the organizer of the demonstrations in the university. It also prohibited the students who were detained from accessing the university campus.

The powerful Zionist lobby in the US has unsuccessfully tried to portray these protests as a threat to Jewish students in an attempt to discredit the movement ignited by the horrendous genocide perpetrated by the Israeli regime against Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip. The war on Gaza has already killed 34,356 Palestinians, 70% of them children and women, and wounded over 77,368, while some 11,000 people are buried under the rubble of their bombed homes.

George Washington University, located in Washington DC, warned students who set up an encampment on Thursday that anyone remaining on campus may be temporarily suspended from their courses and slapped with an administrative access ban.

The University of Florida threatened with suspension and even a three-year expulsion against students who demonstrate on campus.

These punitive measures have made many people in the United States and all over the world question the United States government’s claims of upholding democracy and human rights.

The protests cannot be suppressed
Despite attempts to repress and suppress them, protests continue to erupt on university campuses across the country.

On Friday, more than 75 students set up a camp at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with a large banner that read: “What have you done to end the genocide?,” as shown by photos published by the local newspaper The Daily Tar Heel.

Legislators Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jamaal Bowman, who represent New York districts and are part of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, visited the Columbia University campus on Friday to show their solidarity with the students.

“Any leader who has resorted to the use of force and violence against people who demonstrate peacefully should feel deep shame,” Ocasio-Cortez said to the student newspaper Bwog.

However, the US public opinion is weary of these opportunistic politicians who have voted for Joe Biden’s proposals to send more money and weapons to Israel but try to portray themselves as human rights defenders. Many of these politicians from both Republican and Democratic parties receive millions in financial support from the Israel lobby.

The protests have been called by different groups, showing their opposition to the war in Gaza, which has already claimed more than 34,000 lives, and to express their rejection of Biden’s unconditional support for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Nentanyahu.

Protesters are also demanding universities to divest from weapons manufacturers, as they do not want the money they pay for their tuition to fuel the Israeli ethnic cleansing in Palestine.

There is a historical precedent for this type of student movements. In the 1980s, students in the United States managed to get some universities to divest from apartheid-era South African businesses. The current protests have assumed greater relevance as they are occurring in an election year and at a time when Democratic President Joe Biden is trying to court the young voters to defeat Republican Donald Trump in the upcoming presidential elections scheduled for November.


(Últimas Noticias) with Orinoco Tribune content

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