after the evacuation of Columbia University, clashes and arrests on campus continue

Police were again deployed on Wednesday at several American universities. In California, law enforcement demanded the evacuation of the pro-Palestinian encampment from the campus of the University of California in Los Angeles.


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Pro-Palestinian demonstrators confront the police, on the campus of the University of California in Los Angeles (United States), May 2, 2024. (ETIENNE LAURENT / AFP)

Two days after the police evacuated Hamilton Hall, a building on the Columbia University campus in New York, police interventions on American campuses continue. According to a count established by AFP, American police officers have carried out arrests on at least 30 university sites since April 17. On Wednesday, May 1, new arrests of students and pro-Palestinian demonstrators took place.

Police officers intervened Wednesday in a building at the University of Fordham, at the request of management, to evacuate around thirty“students and former students” present to install a “illegal encampment”precise the direction in a letter published on social networks.

A man wearing a keffiyeh walks past police officers in riot gear in front of Fordham University in New York (United States), May 1, 2024. (ANTHONY BEHAR/ SIPA)

The New York City police, for their part, specify that this law enforcement operation was carried out “without incident”. In a letter addressed to the student community and consulted by the NBC New York channel, the president of the university announced that around fifteen people had been arrested for trespassing.

Several pro-Palestinian demonstrators brandished letters distributed by management against the bay windows of the building. These letters demanded the departure of the demonstrators, according to the university newspaper, The Fordham Ram.

Further north, in the state of New Hampshire, a group of students planned to set up tents on the campus of Dartmouth College late Wednesday afternoon, according to local television station WMUR TV. It was to be the first pro-Palestinian encampment set up in this establishment since the start, on October 7, of the war between Israel and Hamas.

But after distributing warning leaflets to protesters late in the afternoon, police arrested 90 protesters for trespassing and resisting arrest, according to the university newspaper, The Dartmouth.

Violent clashes at the University of California

At the other end of the country, on the west coast,he police at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) ordered students and staff present in the makeshift camp set up on campus to leave the premises in the evening, reports the Californian newspaper Los Angeles Times. This presence was judged “illegal” by Michael Vincent Drake, Faculty President. Which estimated in a press release published Tuesday April 30 that the camp “violates university policy”.

Police officers deployed on the campus of the University of California in Los Angeles (United States), May 1, 2024. (ETIENNE LAURENT / AFP)

If they refuse, the demonstrators risk being arrested, the police have warned. This warning pushed some of the demonstrators to leave the scene, noted the New York Times. Others chose to stay. Several demonstrators took refuge on the university site, overflown by police helicopters. The demonstrators raised barricades using trash cans and planks, specifies the American daily.

This evacuation order comes less than 24 hours after violent clashes that occurred Tuesday evening between, on one side, pro-Palestinian demonstrators and, on the other, a group of counter-protesters. Masked and hooded, the latter attempted to break through an improvised barricade around the encampment.

Protesters and counter-protesters then clashed with sticks, paving stones, fireworks, tear gas and pepper bombs, according to local television channel ABC 7. Police in riot gear arrived about two hours after the clashes began to separate the two camps.

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