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Police report 93 arrests made at USC after pro-Palestinian protest

In a recent pro-Palestinian protest at the University of Southern California (USC), tensions escalated as 93 people were arrested, primarily for misdemeanor trespassing. The university had declared the campus closed, allowing only students with their USC IDs to enter through pedestrian gates due to what they described as “significant activity at the center of campus.” LAPD Captain Kelly Muniz reported that 35 protesters had already been processed for misdemeanor trespassing, with several dozen more awaiting processing. One individual was also arrested for assault with a deadly weapon during an altercation. Fortunately, no injuries were reported amongst the police officers or protesters.

The arrests at USC come in the wake of similar clashes between law enforcement and pro-Palestinian demonstrators across the nation. At a university in Texas, dozens of individuals were aggressively detained by the police. These incidents reflect the growing tensions surrounding the Israel-Hamas war, which have spilled onto university campuses nationwide.

Earlier in the day, USC experienced rising tensions between the police and protesters. However, as the evening approached, a small group of demonstrators who stood in a circle with locked arms were peacefully detained one by one. The remaining protesters sat in defiance of an earlier warning to disperse or face arrest, as police officers encircled them. Helicopters buzzed overhead, capturing the attention of hundreds of onlookers. Eventually, the university decided to close the campus for safety reasons.

Last week, USC faced backlash after canceling the valedictorian’s speech due to safety concerns regarding her pro-Palestinian views. Asna Tabassum, a first-generation South Asian-American Muslim who majored in biomedical engineering and minored in resistance to genocide, was set to deliver the speech. The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations released a statement expressing disappointment with the university’s decision.

The chaotic rally at USC’s Alumni Park unfolded when police confronted protesters who were attempting to establish an encampment on campus. Numerous students and others associated with the demonstration presented a list of demands, including divestment by the university. This demand aligns with those made by students at other campuses across the country.

The arrests at USC followed a series of clashes between law enforcement and pro-Palestinian protesters at the University of Texas at Austin, where 34 individuals were taken into custody. Earlier in the day, Columbia University managed to avoid a similar confrontation between students and police.

As more information becomes available, further details regarding these incidents will be added to this report. The Associated Press contributed to this article.

The events at USC highlight the increasing tensions surrounding the Israel-Hamas conflict and its impact on university campuses. It also sheds light on the ongoing struggle between law enforcement and demonstrators exercising their right to protest. With campuses becoming the battleground for these ideological clashes, it is crucial for universities and authorities to find ways to address these issues peacefully and ensure the safety of all individuals involved.

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