Scores arrested as police clear UCLA pro-Palestinian camp

By Neto Gaia maio4,2024

President Joe Biden addresses the nation, saying ‘there’s the right to protest but not the right to cause chaos’

Police arrested more than 130 people as they moved in to clear a pro-Palestinian encampment at UCLA on Thursday morning, according to the Los Angeles Times. The decision to send in the police came after protesters ignored orders to clear the area. There were scuffles between students and police officers, who launched flares and wore body armor, helmets and face shields as they moved in to tear down the barricades around the university encampment.

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At least 1,300 people have been arrested across the U.S. in the last two weeks in connection with student protests. The movement continues to gather pace across the nation and more clashes with the police were expected on Thursday. At Portland State University in Oregon, officers were getting ready to evict students who took over the campus library in recent days. Meanwhile, on the East Coast, some of the activists who were arrested on Tuesday at Columbia University were brought before a judge.

After keeping largely quiet about the campus unrest, President Joe Biden gave a televised address to the nation on Thursday, condemning the acts of violence and saying that things had gone too far. “We’re a civil society and order must prevail. There’s the right to protest but not the right to cause chaos,” he said. “Destroying property is not a peaceful protest. It’s against the law.”

“We all see the images, and they put to the test two fundamental American principles. The first is the right to free speech and for people to peacefully assemble and make their voices heard. The second is the rule of law. Both must be upheld. We are not an authoritarian nation where we silence people or squash dissent,” said Biden, who answered “no” to reporters’ questions of whether he would change his Middle East policy or send in the National Guard to quash the protests.

Biden, who is lagging behind the Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump in the polls, is walking a fine line. His rivals are seeking to portray the protests as antisemitic and extremist, and saying that the Democratic administration is incapable of keeping them under control. On the other hand, being too critical of the student movement could alienate him from young and progressive voters, something he can ill afford to do: the under-30s are one of the pillars of his race for re-election, and this group has been very vocal in its criticism of Biden’s unwavering support of Israel, as have Arab-American communities.



L.A. / Washington / New York | Publicado às 5: 44, deste sábado (4)

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