Spread the love

Tense face-to-face between pro-Palestinians and police at a Texas university

Photo: Brandon Bell Getty Images via Agence France-Presse At the University of Texas at Austin, hundreds of students gathered on Wednesday in a visibly good-natured atmosphere on campus at the call of the “Palestine Solidarity Committee”.

Suzanne Cordeiro – Agence France-Presse and Nicolas Revise – Agence France-Presse in Austin and New York respectively

Posted at 5:29 p.m.

  • United States

The University of Texas at Austin is the scene Wednesday of a tense face-to-face between hundreds of pro-Palestinian students and the police, including many mounted and helmeted officers, the latest episode of American student anger against the war in Gaza.

Tensions remain high in some American universities — particularly on the East Coast and in New York — after, at the call of their leaders, the police arrested a number of students opposed to the conflict ravaging the Palestinian territory, denouncing the military and diplomatic support of the United States for Israel and defending the fate of the Palestinians.

American President Joe Biden “supports freedom of expression, debate and non-discrimination” in universities, White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said on Wednesday. “We think it’s important that people can express themselves peacefully. But in the event of hateful rhetoric, in the event of violence, we must denounce it,” she added.

Candidate for re-election in November against Donald Trump , the Democratic president is himself torn between this support for Israel and the anger of part of the left-wing electorate, particularly among young people. He promulgated a major aid plan on Wednesday, notably to Israel.

At the University of Texas in Austin, a dynamic progressive city in this conservative state in the south of the country , hundreds of students in summer outfits gathered in a visibly good-natured atmosphere on campus at the call of the “Palestine solidarity committee”.

Also read

  • Biden promulgates major American aid plan for Ukraine
  • Israel carries out “offensive action” in southern Lebanon
  • Investigation into remarks made Saturday during a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Ottawa

Some wave Palestinian flags and wear keffiyehs, others, supervised by police, have wrapped themselves in Israeli flags.

At the other end of the country, at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, around a hundred students called for an “occupation” of the campus on Wednesday, setting up tents early in the morning.

Evacuation of a camp

This new movement against the conflict in Gaza started last week from Columbia University in New York, where the presidency and students agreed Wednesday morning to negotiate for two more days — until Friday morning — before a possible total evacuation of an illegal encampment set up on campus.

The presidency of Columbia welcomed “significant progress” in the discussions to evacuate this encampment set up a few days ago on a lawn of this historic establishment in northern Manhattan.

Meanwhile, “student protesters have pledged to dismantle and remove a significant number of tents” and “will make sure that those who are not registered at Columbia leave.”

But if the camp found a more peaceful atmosphere on Wednesday, the underlying tensions — at Columbia and other American universities — have not really disappeared.

“As a Palestinian, is it my responsibility to stand there and show solidarity with the people of Gaza ? Absolutely! » replied Yazen, a 23-year-old American student of Palestinian origin interviewed by AFP in Columbia.

Interpellations Tuesday in New York

On Tuesday evening, hundreds of demonstrators gathered in Brooklyn, the largest borough of the megacity, at the call of Jewish Voice for Peace, a group of 'Pro-Palestinian left-wing Jewish Americans, on the occasion of the Seder, the Jewish Passover ritual.

In a tense atmosphere, many of them were arrested, observed an AFP reporter.

“I'm here because I have to be there. I cannot observe the Seder and not talk about Gaza, and ignore it. We [the Americans] are the instigators of such violence, of such hatred, it’s terrible,” Rebecca Lurie thundered on the spot.

In the night from Monday to Tuesday, 130 people were briefly arrested in front of the premises of New York University (NYU). There too, these protesters demanded an end to the war ravaging Gaza and a boycott by their establishment of any activity linked to Israel.

At Yale University, in Connecticut (north-east), around fifty demonstrators were also arrested.

Each time, the police intervened at the request of university presidents.

Many higher education institutions in the United States have been rocked for nearly seven months by the war in the Gaza Strip, sparked by an unprecedented Hamas attack on Israeli soil.

Among these universities, the very prestigious and oldest in the United States, Harvard, in Boston. A camp resembling that of Columbia was being set up on the leafy campus of this historic temple of law and economics.

Accused, in particular by the right and elected officials of the Republican Party, for allegedly not doing enough against anti-Semitism, two university presidents, including that of Harvard, in Boston, had to resign this winter.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116