US Violent Crackdown On Pro-Palestine Protesters While Hypocritical Gyaan To India On Democracy

ED Times
5 min readMay 2, 2024

By Chirali Sharma

The United States campuses have been run over by the police, who are arresting hundreds of students protesting for Palestine, Gaza and Israel’s unnecessary use of violence and destruction in the region. As per reports, across three university campuses, the police arrested over 200 students from pro-Palestine encampments on 27th April 2024.

The protests were putting forth the genocide that Israel is committing in Gaza and asked their education institutions to “divest” from business with Israel and other defence companies, as a way to support Palestine.

Around 282 protesting students were arrested from New York’s Columbia University and the City College of New York during a raid while a Palestinian solidarity encampment at the University of California campus saw counterprotests from pro-Israel people with classes having to be shut.

What Is Happening Across Campuses In The US?

Israel launched a counterattack on the Gaza Strip after Hamas attacked a music festival in Israel on 7th October leading to 1170 people being killed and 250 people being taken hostage as per Israeli military.

However, in retaliation, Israel has led a devastating and continuous attack on Palestine since then killing around 34,388 people, including 13,000 children, as per the region’s health ministry, along with hospitals, residences, universities and more turned to rubble.

Students protesting this claim that Israel’s actions are akin to genocide and the military is committing war crimes, and demanding that the US government cut funding and arms deals with the region, their “complicit” universities denounce the region and businesses to divest from Israel.

Across the US students of different universities have been setting up pro-Palestine protests such as students from the University of South Florida, and Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, Brown University in Rhode Island, along with others.

Francesca Albanese, the UN special rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territory, commenting on the violent reaction to the protests said she is “horrified by the violent actions of police at US universities smashing protests against an ongoing genocide perpetrated by a foreign country”.

However, the university administration and the local authorities have come under the scanner for using excessive force and violence against seemingly peaceful protesters. Even if there was a need to break up the protests, it could have been done in a calm manner rather than what happened.

As per an MCNBC report, the president of Columbia University asked the NYPD to break up the tent encampment put up by the protestors. Another 150 protesters were arrested from NYU after the university administration reached out to the police to intervene.

Security and police also reached the USC college, breaking up the pro-Palestinian protesters and creating a lot of chaos and violence. The LA Police were also seen in riot gear confronting the students, encircling the campus and trying to pull them in together to remove them from the premises.

Arrests at City College as police attempt to clear sidewalk in front of college gates. pic.twitter.com/0b6yGBTnRd

- Hell Gate *subscribe today!* (@HellGateNY) May 1, 2024

? https://t.co/kHCdrOblDz pic.twitter.com/GQpdNX8sDM

- in the pocket of Big Tenant (@AllezLesBoulez) May 1, 2024

Look what they unleash when the protests unveil the ugly truth about US complicity in a genocide. Look what happens when the students protest occupation and apartheid. Palestine will always be the litmus test. #ColumbiaUniversity pic.twitter.com/4WGOKUD6GI

- Dr. Omar Suleiman (@omarsuleiman504) May 1, 2024

#Netanyahu is a pathological liar, falsely accusing American university students of antisemitism.
In his speech he incites against the students and demands their voice be silenced
#ColumbiaUniversity #ColumbiaUniversityProtest #ceasefireNowPermanently #Gaza_in_Genocide #Gaza pic.twitter.com/8gbVrGrAvs

- Dr. Taha Zboun (@DrZboun) April 26, 2024

Gov. Greg Abbott (R) also came under backlash for sending over 100 state troopers to the University of Texas campus to remove the pro-Palestinian protesters who had been planning to peacefully protest on a lawn at the university campus.

The governor even approved of the police in riot gear taking the extreme measures they did to control a crowd that allegedly did not need to be controlled and said “Arrests being made right now & will continue until the crowd disperses. These protesters belong in jail. Antisemitism will not be tolerated in Texas. Period. Students joining in hate-filled, antisemitic protests at any public college or university in Texas should be expelled” in a social media post.

Dima Khalidi, executive director of Palestine Legal, said “Instead of engaging (protesters), they are cracking down,” and that the the police response was a “concerning and problematic escalation of repression and state violence against students’ peaceful protests against an ongoing genocide.”

She further said “All of this is a distraction to take our eyes away from Gaza, where mass graves are being found, where people are being starved to death, where 35,000 Palestinians have been killed,” which is what the ultimate goal of the students was.

US Hypocrisy

This reaction by US authorities and politicians is quite hypocritical considering not long ago they were lecturing India about democracy.

During the Farmer Agitation of 2020, too many US lawmakers had given public support to the protesters with Congressman Doug LaMalfa saying, “I stand in solidarity with the Punjabi farmers in India protesting for their livelihoods and protection from misguided, manipulative government regulations”.

Republican lawmaker who represents California’s first Congressional district is also being quoted saying, “Punjabi farmers must be allowed to protest peacefully against their government without fear of violence”.

Matthew Miller, the state department spokesperson last month spoke about the arrest of Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi’s chief minister saying “We are also aware of the Congress party’s allegations that tax authorities have frozen some of their bank accounts in a manner that will make it challenging to effectively campaign in the upcoming elections,” and that “We encourage fair, transparent and timely legal processes for each of these issues”.

Before this, Miller had also commented on India’s implementation of the CAA saying, “We are concerned about the notification of the Citizenship Amendment Act on March 11,” and added, “We are closely monitoring how this Act will be implemented. Respect for religious freedom and equal treatment under the law for all communities are fundamental democratic principles”.

Originally published at https://edtimes.in on May 2, 2024.

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