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Violent Protests on College Campuses

Protests regarding the Palestinian and Israeli conflict are sweeping the country’s colleges. By Juliana Manley
Mohammed Abubakr
To the right, people in the streets protesting the Israel-Hamas situation(courtesy of Mohammed Abubakr).

Whether it be the appealing feeling of rebellion or a passion for justice, something has been driving young college students to protest on the matter of Pro-Palestinian or Israel. The response to this has either been aggressive police action or sometimes equally aggressive college students. These protests and violence could bring other issues to light, especially where the first amendment is concerned.

Recently, the news has been filled with stories of college students protesting the current situation in the Middle East, to which they have been matched with violence, mostly from police retaliations. These colleges include some of the most well-known throughout the world, including UCLA, Yale, Columbia University, Princeton, and others. These protests range from encampments to violent vandalism of college property, resulting in multiple arrests and college campuses being put under close examination by the government. 

These protests sprouted from the conflict of Hamas, a terrorist organization operating out of Palestine, invading Israel’s border on Oct, 7, 2023 raging attacks and firing thousands of rockets. Soon after, Israel immediately started on massive campaigns to strike air targets on Gaza, in response to Hamas’ attacks. From this numerous protests and campaigns have started, mainly by college students, to seek objection to the large-scale violence taking place in Gaza and the amount of civilian casualties. These protests are a response to the response of Israel on the Gaza Strip which many have criticized as being far too destructive in their response. 

The first of these protests started at Columbia University when a group of more than a 100 students had staged an encampment protest to which the police had to be called to disband it. Afterwards, arrests were made by the jurisdiction of many Columbia officials, amassing the national attention that can be seen all over the news. After this more and more college campuses were reported having protests regarding the Israel-Palestine situation. The repercussions of this, however, were that Columbia’s official commencement ceremony was canceled due to the tension with officials, students, and the government. 

In the days after, more encampments could be seen at an array of colleges and universities throughout the nation, resulting in even more arrests being made. While some police officers, like those at the University of Texas, can be seen taking an aggressive approach to clearing out protesters, those at University of Southern California can be seen peacefully arresting protesters. Schools meanwhile are still trying to shut down these encampments before the end of the school years so that this conflict doesn’t affect other commencement ceremonies. 

These college protesters are passionate about their cause because they are fighting for an end to U.S military assistance to Israel and a ceasefire in Gaza. They also are demanding change for companies who are profiting from this war and other members of their college who have been arrested. These encampments however are disrupting college atmospheres making Israeli students feel unsafe and targeted. 

With these changes all over the country, it’s anyone’s guess as to  how these will impact issues with the First Amendment or college climates. This war has been proven to be a catalyst for protests and movements around the world. This could be seen as the start of powerful voices across the world for the future generations.

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About the Contributor
Juliana Manley
Juliana Manley, Journalist
Hi, my name is Juliana I love writing about new upcoming topics that are important to my generation and also writing about topics that could one day impact our future. Some things that I like to do in my free time are playing tennis, baking, reading new books, and hanging out with friends. My favorite season is fall and my favorite holiday is Halloween because of how rainy and cozy it can be. I look forward to writing interesting pieces and reading other's articles. Thanks for reading!

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