White House Requests US Universities To Maintain Peace Amid Ongoing Pro-Palestine Protests

White House Requests US Universities To Maintain Peace Amid Ongoing Pro-Palestine Protests

The White House reaffirmed on Sunday that peaceful rallies in support of Palestine, which have erupted across US universities in recent weeks, should continue.

Siksha MUpdated: Monday, April 29, 2024, 06:47 PM IST
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IANS

Over the weekend, police arrested over 275 people at four different campuses in the US in response to nonviolent rallies in support of Palestine. 

The White House has since issued a statement that these peaceful protests must continue. John Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council, was quoted saying, “We certainly respect the right of peaceful protests,” on ABC’s “This Week.” However, he also condemned the anti-Semitic language, hate speech, and threats of violence that have been reported. 

According to media reports, the rallies began at Columbia University in New York and have spread across multiple campuses throughout the country. While some rallies have remained peaceful, the number of arrested demonstrators is increasing rapidly. 

Police have used forceful methods, including riot gear, tasers, and chemical irritants, resulting in the detainment of 23 individuals at Indiana University, 72 at Arizona State University, 80 at Washington University in St. Louis, and 100 at Northeastern University in Boston. 

According to CNN reports, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein was among those detained at Washington University and criticised the police for using methods that incited unrest. 

Protesters at Yale University established a new encampment after the previous site was taken down by police. College administrators are struggling to find the best response to the rallies, balancing the need to respect free-speech rights and the imperative of containing inflammatory and sometimes violently anti-Semitic calls by protesters. 

Some campuses, including the Humboldt campus of California State Polytechnic University, have closed and instructed students to complete their classes online. The activists behind the rallies, not all of whom are students, are calling for a ceasefire in Israel’s war with Hamas and want colleges to sever ties with Israel. 

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