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Police disperse campus protest encampment at university of Chicago

As Israel’s military continues its incursion into Gaza’s southern region, pro-Palestinian demonstrators nationwide have intensified their protests, rallying supporters across the United States.

Police officers, in a significant development, forcibly removed a pro-Palestinian protest encampment from the University of Chicago early Tuesday morning. This action, closely monitored within higher education circles, comes as the university has historically prided itself on fostering a culture of free expression on campus.

”Tell me whever has that pride gone now,” questioned a student inside the campus.

The escalation of campus protests follows Israel’s military actions in Gaza’s southern region, prompting pro-Palestinian activists to galvanize supporters and disrupt university activities, including commencement events.

Organizers had highlighted the looming threat of a ground invasion after Israel’s military distributed evacuation leaflets in Rafah, home to nearly a million displaced Gazans. Tuesday saw the Israeli military entering Rafah, occupying parts of the city.

In Chicago, police arrived at the university around 5 a.m., donning riot helmets as they began dismantling tents. While protesters dispersed peacefully, a group gathered nearby, chanting in front of officers who guarded the quad where the encampment stood.

Meanwhile, across various campuses, protests have taken various forms of activism. At the Rhode Island School of Design, activists staged an “All Eyes on Rafah” rally and occupied the main administrative building. Similar actions occurred at the University of California, Los Angeles, where police arrested demonstrators in response to the military assault on Rafah.

Tuesday is marked with scheduled protests at institutions including the University of California, Berkeley, California State University, Los Angeles, and the University of Washington.

Tensions have also flared at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where pro-Palestinian demonstrators resisted orders to clear their encampment, resulting in skirmishes with police.

The latest round of arrests, totaling over 100 at universities in California on Monday, brings the nationwide total to more than 2,500 individuals detained at 50 schools since April 18, according to data compiled by The New York Times.

As protests intensify, Columbia University has canceled its main graduation ceremony, citing security concerns. Similar adjustments or increased security measures have been observed at other institutions across the country.

In addition, police in riot gear dismantled a pro-Palestinian encampment at the University of California, San Diego early Monday, marking the first enforcement action at the campus since the start of the demonstration last week.


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