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HeadlinesMay 01, 2024

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NYPD Raid Columbia & City College, Arresting 200+ Pro-Palestinian Protesters

May 01, 2024

New York police in riot gear raided the campuses of Columbia University and the City College of New York Tuesday night, arresting more than 200 student protesters in the latest crackdown on peaceful Palestine solidarity protests on U.S campuses. Over the past two weeks, police in the United States have arrested more than 1,200 protesters on college campuses as students set up encampments calling on schools to divest from Israel. The raid on Columbia came less than 24 hours after students occupied Hamilton Hall. It was 56 years to the day after police stormed the same hall during the historic 1968 protests at Columbia. On Tuesday night, police climbed into the barricaded building using a ladder attached to a police vehicle.

Protesters: “Shame on you! Shame on you! Shame on you! Let the students go! Let the students go! We hear you! We love you and support you! Free, free Palestine!”

During the raid on the Columbia campus, the New York police also broke up the Gaza Solidarity Encampment, which had inspired similar encampments across the country. Columbia President Minouche Shafik has asked the NYPD to “retain a presence on campus through at least May 17, 2024” — two days after graduation. On Tuesday, faculty at Barnard College, which is part of Columbia, overwhelmingly passed a vote of no confidence for President Laura Rosenbury.

Pro-Israel Counterprotesters Violently Attack Student Encampment at UCLA

May 01, 2024

In California, pro-Israel counterprotesters armed with sticks and metal rods attacked a pro-Palestinian encampment on the campus of UCLA shortly after UCLA’s chancellor ruled the encampment was unlawful. Pro-Israel counterprotesters launched fireworks at the encampment, which they tried to tear down.

U.N. Decries Widening Police Crackdown on Student Protests in U.S.

May 01, 2024

In Richmond, Virginia, police deployed pepper spray on student protesters at Virginia Commonwealth University. At least 13 arrests were reported.

In Louisiana, a police SWAT team raided an encampment at Tulane University early this morning, arresting at least 14 students. The raid came hours after the school suspended five students and the school’s chapter of Students for a Democratic Society.

In Missouri, a history professor was hospitalized Saturday after police violently threw him to the pavement. Steve Tamari, who teaches at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, was filming a protest at Washington University on his phone when he was attacked. His wife, Sandra Tamari, who is Palestinian American, was arrested during the same protest.

Meanwhile, at Brown University, student protesters have voluntarily ended their encampment after school officials agreed to hold a vote on divesting from Israel.

On Tuesday, the United Nations criticized the police crackdown on student protests. This is Marta Hurtado, spokesperson for the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Marta Hurtado: “We are troubled by a series of heavy-handed steps taken to disperse and dismantle protests across university campuses in the United States of America. Freedom of expression and the right to peaceful assembly are fundamental to society, particularly when there is a sharp disagreement on major issues, as there are in relation to the conflict in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel.”

Netanyahu Vows to Invade Rafah With or Without a Ceasefire Deal

May 01, 2024

As negotiations continue over a ceasefire in Gaza, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to invade the southern city of Rafah with or without a ceasefire deal. In a statement, Netanyahu said, “The idea that we will halt the war before achieving all of its goals is out of the question.” Netanyahu’s statement came hours before U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in Israel.
On Tuesday, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres called again for an immediate ceasefire and warned an Israeli invasion of Rafah would be an “absolutely devastating tragedy.”

Secretary-General António Guterres: “For the sake of the people of Gaza, for the sake of the hostages and their families in Israel, and for the sake of the region and the wider world, I strongly encourage the government of Israel and the Hamas leadership to reach now an agreement. Without that, I fear the war, with all its consequences both in Gaza and across the region, will worsen exponentially.”

ICJ Refuses to Order Germany to Halt Exporting Arms to Israel

May 01, 2024

The International Court of Justice has rejected a request by Nicaragua to order Germany to halt exporting arms to Israel, but the court declined to throw out the case. Nicaragua had accused Germany of violating the Genocide Convention by providing military and financial aid to Israel. In its ruling, the ICJ said, “The Court considers it particularly important to remind all States of their international obligations relating to the transfer of arms to parties to an armed conflict, in order to avoid the risk that such arms might be used to violate the above-mentioned Conventions.”

Career Diplomat Resigns from State Department over Biden’s Gaza Policy

May 01, 2024

An 18-year career diplomat has resigned from the State Department over the Biden administration’s Gaza policy. Hala Rharrit is the third State Department employee to publicly resign, joining Josh Paul and Annelle Sheline. Rharrit criticized the Biden administration’s arming of Israel. She told The Washington Post, “We’re promoting a generational cycle of revenge that is not making Israelis any safer.”

Haiti’s Transitional Council Picks Little-Known Ex-Sports Minister to Be New PM

May 01, 2024

Haiti’s new ruling, unelected transitional council has picked Fritz Bélizaire to be the country’s new prime minister. His appointment surprised many in Haiti. Some members of the transitional council admit they didn’t even know who he is. Bélizaire had served as Haiti’s sports minister from 2006 to 2011. Meanwhile, leaders of some of Haiti’s most powerful armed groups are demanding a greater role in Haiti’s transitional government. Over the weekend, Jimmy Chérizier, who is known as Barbecue, said, “It’s either we are all at the table, or the table gets destroyed with all of us.”

Judge Holds Trump in Contempt of Court, Fines Him $9,000 for Violating Gag Order

May 01, 2024

New York Judge Juan Merchan fined Donald Trump $9,000 on Tuesday for contempt of court for violating a gag order nine times by publicly attacking witnesses and jurors in his hush money criminal trial. Merchan warned future violations could result in jail time for the former president. Later on Tuesday, Keith Davidson, the lawyer who represented Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, testified during Trump’s criminal trial about his dealings with Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen. Prosecutors showed jurors the wire transfer authorization form Cohen used to send $130,000 to Davidson on October 27, 2016, to prevent Daniels from going public about her affair with Trump before the 2016 election.

“It Depends”: Trump Refuses to Rule Out Political Violence If He Loses Election

May 01, 2024

In other Trump news, the former president has refused to rule out political violence if he loses the election in November. Trump told Time magazine, “I think we’re going to win. And if we don’t win, you know, it depends. It always depends on the fairness of an election.” In the same interview, Trump said he would “absolutely” consider pardoning every person convicted for taking part in the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Florida’s Six-Week Abortion Goes into Effect

May 01, 2024

Florida’s six-week abortion ban went into effect today, blocking access to the procedure before many people even know they’re pregnant. Last month, Florida’s Supreme Court ruled abortion rights are not constitutionally protected, allowing the near-total ban to be enforced. The measure has exceptions for rape, incest, fatal fetal anomalies and medical emergencies. Reproductive justice advocates have vowed to keep fighting, as Florida’s high court also ruled in favor of a November ballot referendum that, if passed, would enshrine abortion rights in Florida’s Constitution.

Justice Department Moves to Reclassify Marijuana

May 01, 2024

In a historic move, the Biden administration is moving to reclassify marijuana as a lower-risk substance. The Justice Department has recommended marijuana be reclassified to the same category as some prescription medication. For decades, it’s been deemed a Category I substance along with drugs like heroin. Rescheduling would ease restrictions on cannabis research and create legal protections for medical marijuana users who face housing and employment restrictions. DEA rescheduling would not result in federal legalization. The process for the drug reclassification could take months to complete.

U.S. Rowing Rescinds Honors for Olympic Legend Ted Nash over Sex Abuse

May 01, 2024

U.S. Rowing has announced it is rescinding honors for the late Olympic rowing coach Ted Nash after an independent investigation found “compelling evidence” of child sexual abuse. The probe was launched after former athlete Jennifer Fox revealed Nash began abusing her when she was 13 years old. In 2018, Fox directed the film “The Tale,” a narrative memoir based in part on Nash’s abuse. At the time, she did not mention Nash by name. She publicly accused him of abuse last year when she spoke to The New York Times and Democracy Now!

Jennifer Fox: “And I don’t doubt that Ted did good in his sport, but the reality is, this other story of the horror that he inflicted on me, and possibly many, many others, had never been told. And I think it’s very important to bring this other story out to the world now and to show this other part of the man that people put on a pedestal and made into a god. It’s a very important act to stand up to power in this way, for me and for others.”

Click here to see our full interview with Jennifer Fox.

May Day: U.K. Workers Block Gov’t Building to Demand Gaza Ceasefire

May 01, 2024

Workers around the world are marking May Day today. In Britain, hundreds blockaded the government’s Department for Business and Trade to demand a ceasefire in Gaza and a halt of British arms sales to Israel.

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