Apr 29, 2024 - News

72 arrested after ASU joins pro-Palestinian protest movement

College campuses with reported encampments or sit-ins related to the war in Gaza
Data: Axios research; Note: Universities with joint encampments reported separately; Locations approximated for clarity; Map: Kavya Beheraj, Tory Lysik and Will Chase/Axios

College demonstrations and encampments calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and divestment in Israel erupted this month across the nation, including at Arizona State University, where 72 protesters were arrested over the weekend.

The big picture: The protests over the treatment of Palestinian citizens in the Israel-Hamas war spread after a demonstration at Columbia University drew international attention earlier this month, when the university's president requested that the protesters be removed.

Zoom in: About 250 protesters established an encampment Friday on Alumni Lawn at ASU's Tempe campus, the Arizona Republic reported.

  • The protesters demands included: university divestment from Israel, ASU president Michael Crow's resignation and the abolition of ASU police, according to the Republic.

The intrigue: ASU police on Friday and early Saturday arrested 72 people — 15 of whom were students — who refused to leave after they were asked repeatedly to disperse, according to the university.

  • Encampments are not allowed on ASU property. The arrested individuals were charged with criminal trespassing, per ASU.

What they're saying: "While the university will continue to be an environment that embraces freedom of speech, ASU's first priority is to create a safe and secure environment that supports teaching and learning," the university said in a statement.

  • Gov. Katie Hobbs supports peaceful protest but "opposes any calls to boycott and divest from Israel, attacks on Israel's right to exist, demands to abolish the police, or rhetoric that supports or encourages violence," a spokesperson for Hobbs posted on X Friday.

What we're watching: The encampments are threatening spring graduation ceremonies.

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