Authorities dismantle pro-Palestine encampments at three US universities

Schools in Arizona, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania have taken action against tent encampments

More than 40 individuals were arrested on Friday as authorities moved to dismantle pro-Palestinian encampments at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Arizona, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Protesters against the Israeli war in Gaza had set up tent cities across major American universities over the past three weeks, starting at Columbia University in New York City.
Around 4am on Friday, police in riot gear surrounded the encampment at MIT, giving protesters 15 minutes to leave. The ten students that chose to remain were arrested, according to MIT President Sally Kornbluth. The group of protesters who gathered outside the camp to chant “pro-Palestinian slogans” was dispersed by 6am, the school said.
“This is only going to make us stronger. They can’t arrest the movement,” Quinn Perian, an undergraduate student and organizer for MIT Jews for Ceasefire, told AP. “MIT would rather arrest and suspend some students than they would end their complicity with the genocide going in Gaza.”
Perian vowed the students won’t back down until MIT “agrees to cut ties with the Israeli military.”

In a statement about Friday’s arrests, Kornbluth said that MIT’s responsibility was to ensure both free speech and campus safety, and that the protests had “increasingly made it impossible” to meet both obligations.
About 90 minutes after the MIT raid, campus and Philadelphia police moved against the camp at the University of Pennsylvania, which had been in place for more than two weeks. The school said that students and faculty members were among the 33 people detained and charged with “defiant trespass.”
Campus police at the University of Arizona in Tucson tore down the protest camp late on Thursday. The school cited policy violations and safety concerns after protesters had fortified their tent city with wooden pallets.
Police had fired tear gas to clear the area after getting pelted with rocks and water bottles, the school said. No arrests were reported, however.
More than 2,800 people have been arrested at 56 colleges and universities across the US since April 18, when the pro-Palestinian protests began, according to AP. The demonstrators have called for their schools to stop doing business with Israel or companies that support the Israeli war effort against Hamas in Gaza, which has killed over 34,000 Palestinians since last October.