Updated May 3, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Over 2,000 protesters arrested at college campuses across the U.S.

A California Highway Patrol officer detains a protester while clearing a pro-Palestinian encampment after dispersal orders were given at the University of California, Los Angeles, campus, on Thursday, May 2. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

There were tense scenes at UCLA and other colleges into Thursday night as police moved onto campuses in efforts to quell pro-Palestinian protests that have swept U.S. campuses.

The big picture: It's estimated 2,000-plus people have been arrested on campuses across the U.S. in the past three weeks, as colleges nationwide crack down on protests against the Israel-Hamas war amid a rise in reports of antisemitism and Islamophobia on campus.

The latest: Portland State University emerged as the latest college flashpoint on Thursday when police ended anti-Gaza war protesters' occupation of the college's Millar Library and arrested at least 29 people.

  • Hours after law enforcement officers cleared the library, police said protesters pulled down the fence and broke back in Thursday night and more arrests were made.

State of play: Columbia University in New York, the epicenter for the protests, and the University of California, Los Angeles, have both seen a heavy police presence following dozens of arrests on campus this week.

  • A spokesperson for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg told media outlets Thursday that an NYPD officer's gun went off inside a Columbia University building while clearing out protesters earlier this week.
  • Only police officers were in the immediate area when the incident occurred, but a review has been launched as is standard protocol in such instances, the spokesperson added.

At the University of California, Los Angeles, authorities said 210 protesters were arrested after officers in riot gear moved in to dismantle the pro-Palestinian encampment Thursday morning.

Zoom in: Dozens of arrests have been made on campus in New York alone this week, including at Columbia University, the City College of New York and Fordham University.

At Stony Brook University, News 12 Long Island reported that protesters were rallying on Thursday afternoon to protest the Gaza war and to demand that charges and suspensions against 29 people arrested overnight be dropped.

In New Hampshire, police said 90 people were arrested at Dartmouth College "for multiple offenses including criminal trespass and resisting arrest" early Thursday and multiple arrests were also made at the University of New Hampshire late Wednesday.

The University of Wisconsin at Madison confirmed in an online post that police arrested 34 people on Wednesday at an anti-Gaza war protest that left four officers injured. Professors were among those arrested, according to the Washington Post.

Police in Dallas arrested 17 pro-Palestinian demonstrators at the city's University of Texas campus for criminal trespassing on Wednesday, a college spokesperson said in an email.

At Tulane University in New Orleans, at least 14 people were arrested after police including SWAT teams removed a pro-Palestinian encampment on Wednesday.

The University of Buffalo said in a statement on Thursday that 16 people, were arrested after being "advised of, and failing to comply," with an order to disperse over violations to the university's picketing and assembling policy.

  • Those arrested included students and other individuals not affiliated with the university, per the statement.

In photos: What's happening on college campuses

 Pro-Palestinian students and activists face police officers after protesters were evicted from the library on campus earlier in the day at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon on May 2, 2024.
Pro-Palestinian students and activists face police officers after protesters were evicted from the library on campus earlier in the day at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon, on May 2. Photo: John Rudoff/AFP via Getty Images
A California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer fires a flash-bang while clearing a pro-Palestinian encampment after dispersal orders were given at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) campus, on May 2, 2024 in Los Angeles, California.
A California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer fires a flash-bang device while clearing a pro-Palestinian encampment after dispersal orders were given at the UCLA campus on May 2. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images
 Police set up a perimeter outside as pro-Palestinian protesters occupy a building where they had established an encampment at Fordham University Lincoln Center campus on May 01, 2024 in New York City. The occupation of the building comes a day after police raided both Columbia University and City College, arresting dozens and closing down encampments there.
Police set up a perimeter outside as pro-Palestinian protesters occupy a building where they had established an encampment at the Fordham University at Lincoln Center campus in New York City on May 1. Photo: Alex Kent/Getty Images
NYPD officers stand at the entrance of Columbia University in New York City on May 1, 2024.
NYPD officers stand at the entrance of Columbia University in New York City on May 1. Photo: Charly Triballeau/AFP via Getty Images
Police erect barriers as pro-Palestinian protesters rally outside the Fordham University Lincoln Center campus where a group had established an encampment inside a building on May 01, 2024 in New York City. The occupation of the building comes a day after police raided both Columbia University and City College, arresting dozens and closing down encampments there.
Police erect barriers as pro-Palestinian protesters rally outside the Fordham University at Lincoln Center campus where a group established an encampment inside a building in New York City on May 1. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
 Police arrive at the encampment as pro-Palestinian students protest at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on May 1, 2024. The weeks of demonstrations, the most sweeping and prolonged unrest to rock US college campuses since the Vietnam war protests of the 1960s and 70s, have already led to several hundred arrests of students and other activists.
Police arrive at an encampment as pro-Palestinian students protest at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on May 1. Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images
Republican Representative from Colorado Lauren Boebert speaks during a visit by Republican reprenstatives to the pro-Palestinian student protest encampment on the campus of George Washington University on May 1, 2024 in Washington, DC.
Colorado U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert speaks during a visit by Republican Congress members to a pro-Palestinian student protest encampment on the campus of George Washington University in Washington, D.C., on May 1. Photo: Drew Angerer/AFP via Getty Images
 Banners are seen on the fences at DePaul University's Lincoln Park campus, where students and demonstrators protest the Israel-Hamas war in Chicago, Illinois, United States on May 1, 2024.
Banners are seen on the fences at DePaul University's Lincoln Park campus, where students and demonstrators protest the Israel-Hamas war in Chicago, Illinois, on May 1. Photo: Jacek Boczarski/Anadolu via Getty Images
 Students walk past a pro-Palestinian encampment set up at UC Irvine in Irvine, CA on Wednesday, May 1, 2024. The students are protesting for the university to divest itself from businesses with ties to Israeli and weapon manufacturers and to grant amnesty for demonstrators.
Students walk past a pro-Palestinian encampment set up at UC Irvine in Irvine, California, on May 1. Photo: Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images
 Police officers stand guard after clashes on the campus of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), in Los Angeles on May 1, 2024.
Police officers stand guard after clashes on the campus of UCLA on May 1. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images
Pro-Palestinian students gather at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas, on May 1, 2024. The pro-Palestinian demonstrations, the most sweeping and prolonged unrest to rock US college campuses since the Vietnam war protests of the 1960s and 70s, have already led to several hundred arrests of students and other activists.
Pro-Palestinian students gather at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas, on May 1. Photo: Suzanne Cordeiro/AFP via Getty Images
Graffiti is pictured on a wall as pro-Palestinian demonstrators have occupied the Millar Library on the campus of Portland State University, in Portland, Oregon on April 30, 2024. Dozens of helmeted police flooded Columbia University's campus in the heart of New York City on April 30, 2024 to evict a building occupied by pro-Palestinian student protesters and detain demonstrators. The action came as university administrators around the United States have struggled for weeks to contain pro-Palestinian demonstrations on dozens of campuses.
Graffiti on a wall as pro-Palestinian demonstrators occupied the Millar Library on the campus of Portland State University, in Portland, Oregon on April 30. The college was closed the following day due to the students' occupation, per Oregon Public Broadcasting. Photo: John Rudoff/AFP via Getty Images
Pro-Palestinian demonstrators protesting the Israel-Hamas war at the University of Wisconsin Library Mallon on April 29, 2024, in Madison, Wisconsin. College campuses across the United States have started encampments to call on their universities to divest financial ties from Israel. (Photo by Lawrence Iles/Icon Sportswire)
Pro-Palestinian demonstrators protesting the Israel-Hamas war at the University of Wisconsin on April 29. Photo: Lawrence Iles/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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Editor's note: This story was updated with additional developments.

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