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Student Protest Movement for Gaza Gains Steam Despite Police Crackdown, Biden’s Dismissal as “Chaos”

HeadlineMay 03, 2024

As the genocide in Gaza continues, the student protest movement here in the U.S. keeps growing. The Associated Press reports nearly 2,200 people have now been arrested nationwide across college and university campuses. President Biden addressed the protests on Thursday.

President Joe Biden: “Dissent is essential to democracy, but dissent must never lead to disorder or to denying the rights of others so students can finish the semester and their college education. Look, it’s basically a matter of fairness. It’s a matter of what’s right. There’s the right to protest, but not the right to cause chaos.”

Biden also said the historic student uprising will not affect U.S. policy in the Middle East.

On Thursday, police arrested students at Portland State University, the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and SUNY’s Purchase and New Paltz campuses. Meanwhile, new solidarity encampments went up in recent days at the University of Washington and the University of Toronto, among others.
Video of Dartmouth College history professor Annelise Orleck being violently arrested on Wednesday night has prompted outrage. Orleck, who is also chair of Jewish studies at Dartmouth, was trying to protect students along with other faculty members as they were attacked by police. Police made over 90 arrests that night.

Here in New York, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office says it is investigating after a police officer fired a gunshot on the Columbia campus while the NYPD was forcing out protesters on Tuesday. No one was harmed in the shooting.

Students at Rutgers University in New Jersey and the University of Minnesota have voluntarily disassembled their encampments after school leadership agreed to some of their demands and to continue conversations with the protesters.

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