Protests at two US universities ended, Biden insists on the importance of order

Protests at two US universities ended, Biden insists on the importance of order
Protests at two US universities ended, Biden insists on the importance of order
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AFP
Joe Biden

NOS Newstoday, 6:44 PM

Police have dismantled a tent camp of pro-Palestinian protesters at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). More than a hundred demonstrators were arrested. It was the second major protest at a university that was cleared in a short time. President Biden said in response that “order must be maintained.”

It is the first time that the president has spoken extensively about the dismantling of the protests. Biden argued that the protests fall within freedom of expression, but said the law must be enforced.

“We are not an authoritarian nation where we silence people and suppress dissent,” he told reporters at the White House. “But we are also not a lawless country. We are a civil society and order must be maintained.”

A group of pro-Israeli demonstrators entered the encampment of pro-Palestinian demonstrators on Tuesday evening. Disturbances arose and the police initially acted with restraint. However, the police were present in large numbers during the evacuation. Protesters tried to keep the officers at bay with fire extinguishers, among other things. According to the LA Times, video shows at least one officer firing rubber bullets at protesters.

Disorders

Yesterday, police also ended a protest at Columbia University in New York. There, demonstrators occupied a building where the government has its seat. Police arrested nearly 300 demonstrators there.

The demonstrators also appeal to President Biden. They tell him to take a less lenient position on Israel because, according to them, that country is committing genocide in the Gaza Strip. Biden said today that the protests are not forcing him to reconsider his positions on US policy.

Humanitarian help

Biden has reiterated several times in previous speeches that he supports Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas. At the same time, he has pushed for more humanitarian aid for Gazans. The US is also mediating in negotiations on a ceasefire.

There are demonstrations at universities across the country. Although these are often peaceful, Jewish students and university administrators say anti-Semitism on universities has been increasing since October 7. Several universities received reports of intimidating slogans and anti-Semitism during the protests. Biden states that “there is no place on campuses or in America for anti-Semitism or hate speech.”

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Protests universities ended Biden insists importance order

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