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American human rights revealed in pro-Palestine demos

Mehr News – A wave of pro-Palestinian protests has spread at American universities as students gathered on campuses around the country, facing off with the police, in a widening showdown to call for putting an end to the Gaza War.

Israeli military operations in Gaza have killed at least 34,500 people after 200 days of war, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry. While the war in the Gaza Strip has been underway for over seven months, the world including students in American universities are showing their solidarity with the defenseless nation of Palestine. Scores of American students are joining pro-Palestinian marches across the United States, calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza amid US’ police’s extreme moves.

According to the Guardian, the original encampments at Columbia called for the university to divest from weapons manufacturers with ties to Israel. The protests have led to mass suspensions of students and the arrests of hundreds. “There have been more than 900 arrests of protesters on U.S. campuses since April 18, when Columbia University had the New York Police Department clear a protest encampment there,” the New York Times reported.

More than 200 protesters were arrested on Saturday at Northeastern University, Arizona State University, Indiana University, and Washington University in St. Louis, according to officials, as colleges across the country struggle to quell growing pro-Palestinian demonstrations and encampments on campus, the source added.At Washington University in St. Louis, 100 arrests were made and the campus was locked down on Saturday evening, the university said in a statement. Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for the 2024 presidential election, was among those arrested, along with her campaign manager and another staff member, a spokesman for the campaign said.

Earlier in the day, at Northeastern in Boston, protesters had set up an encampment on the campus’s Centennial Common this week that drew more than 100 supporters. The administration had asked the protesters to leave, but many students did not.

Around dawn on Saturday, Massachusetts State Police officers arrived at the encampment and began to arrest protesters, putting them in zip-tie handcuffs and taking several tents down. They said they had arrested 102 protesters. What started at the Columbia campus has turned into a nationwide showdown between students and administrators over pro-Palestine protests and the restrictions on free speech.

In the past 10 days, hundreds of students have been arrested, suspended, put on probation, and, in rare cases, expelled from colleges, including Yale University, the University of Southern California, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Minnesota, A l Jazeera reported.

A few universities have had to cancel graduation ceremonies, while others have seen their buildings occupied by the protesters, added the source.

Dozens of Palestinian students staged a display of solidarity at a demonstration in southern Gaza on Sunday to express gratitude for the support seen on US college campuses in recent weeks, CNN reported.  

Video from the Shaboura refugee camp in Rafah shows children holding banners with messages that read: “Students of Columbia University, continue to stand by us,” and “Violating our right to education and life is a war crime.”  

Reported by Tohid Mahmoudpour

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