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Colleges that once embraced anti-Israel protests now changing their tune as encampments grow more chaotic

todayMay 7, 2024 1

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Anti-Israel protests linger across college campuses nationwide nearly three weeks after they first appeared at Columbia University.In the chaotic weeks since April 18, more than 2,600 people have been arrested on 50 campuses. The protesters have said they want their schools to cut all ties with Israel over its war in Gaza. Administrators have shown mixed reactions with some universities like UT Austin and Emory University cracking down almost immediately, while others have shown more restraint. ANTI-ISRAEL ENCAMPMENTS SHARE COMMON TRAITS WITH MARXIST REVOLUTIONARIES, BLM AND THE KKKBut many colleges in the latter camp have started to lose patience amid the increasing combativeness of some of the protesters. Anti-Israel agitators at a George Washington encampment for instance, have called for the “guillotine” for school administrators. Campuses have tried tactics from appeasement to threats of disciplinary action to resolve the protests and clear the way for upcoming commencements.Here is a look at some universities that are starting to change their tune. UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGOAt the University of Chicago, hundreds of protesters gathered on campus for more than a week. Administrators initially adopted a permissive approach, but later said the protest had crossed a line and caused growing concerns about safety.The protesters were warned Friday to leave or face removal. On Tuesday, law enforcement dismantled the encampment after a scuffle.University President Paul Alivisatos acknowledged the school’s role as a protector of freedom of speech after officers in riot gear blocked access to the school’s Quad but also took an enough-is-enough stance.COLUMBIA STUDENT LAUNCHES PETITION TO HOLD COMMENCEMENT ON CAMPUS: ‘WE ALL WORKED’ FOR THIS”The university remains a place where dissenting voices have many avenues to express themselves, but we cannot enable an environment where the expression of some dominates and disrupts the healthy functioning of the community for the rest,” Alivisatos said in a message to the university community.UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA, CHAPEL HILLOfficials at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, told deans and department chairs Monday that some students have been informed by instructors opposing the suspension of student protesters that they will withhold grades.The school provost’s office said it would support “sanctions for any instructor who is found to have improperly withheld grades.” MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGYAt the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), protesters were given a deadline to voluntarily leave or face suspension. Many left, according to an MIT spokesperson, who said protesters breached fencing after the arrival of demonstrators from outside the university. On Monday night, dozens remained at the encampment in a calmer atmosphere.MIT officials said the following day that dozens of interim suspensions and discipline committee referrals were in process, actions taken to ensure the “safety of our community.”ISRAELI, AMERICAN FLAG DISPLAY VANDALIZED AT HARVARD UNIVERSITYSome schools are still showing a permissive attitude to the protests, letting students hold demonstrations and organize their encampments as they see fit.The Rhode Island School of Design, where students started occupying a building Monday, has affirmed students’ rights to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly and supports all members of the community. The school has said President Crystal Williams spent more than five hours with the protesters that evening discussing their demands.The president of Wesleyan University, a liberal arts school in Connecticut, has commended the on-campus demonstration — which includes a pro-Palestinian tent encampment — as an act of political expression. The camp there has grown from about 20 tents a week ago to more than 100.President Michael Roth said the university will “continue to make space” for the protesters “as long as that space is not disruptive to campus operations.”But for some, this lax attitude is still not enough. A Wesleyan senior cited by The Associated Press, said: “even though our president has said, ‘Oh, I’m not going to call the cops. Oh, I’m not going to beat up students,’ that’s still not enough, and that’s not the bare minimum for us.”And as Wesleyan’s May 26 commencement approaches, some protesters fear they will be forcibly removed from the center of campus, adjacent to the field where the ceremony is to take place.Batya Kline, a 22-year-old graduate student, predicted that the university’s “facade of laid back, hands off” will fall away the longer protesters remain on campus. “We know that the university does not want us here, and we know that they can change their pace at the drop of a hat without letting us know,” Kline said. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Written by: The Dam Rock Station

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