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ASU Police Disband Gaza Solidarity Encampment Amid Growing Campus Protests

In a recent development at Arizona State University (ASU), campus police have taken action to disband a pro-Palestinian solidarity encampment set up by students on Alumni Lawn in Tempe. This event took place on April 26, 2024, and marks another chapter in the ongoing student protests across various U.S. campuses in solidarity with the people of Gaza.

The students at ASU, alongside demonstrators, gathered early in the morning to construct their Gaza solidarity camp, joining a national movement that has seen similar actions at institutions such as the University of Texas at Austin, Boston's Emerson College, and the University of Southern California. These protests are part of a larger call for divestment from companies involved in the conflict and for universities to cut ties with Israeli institutions due to their perceived complicity in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The protest and encampment at ASU were met with resistance from campus police, who began arresting protesters around 9 a.m., citing a violation of the Arizona Revised Statutes 13-1502, a criminal trespass statute. By noon, four people had been arrested as part of the crackdown on the demonstration.

In response to the police action, protesters attempted to protect themselves and their encampment by linking arms to avoid further arrests. The situation escalated when sprinklers were turned on around the protesters, leading some in the crowd to use buckets and tarps to block the flow of water. Despite these challenges, the group managed to rebuild their encampment.

ASU Hillel, a Jewish organization on campus, expressed concern for the safety of Jewish students and announced that it would continue with its planned Senior Shabbat event, albeit with additional security measures in place.

This incident at ASU is part of a broader trend of campus protests across the United States, reflecting the growing student activism and engagement with the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As these demonstrations continue to unfold, they highlight the deep divisions within campus communities and the wider public on issues related to foreign policy, human rights, and the role of universities in global affairs.

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