Pro-Palestinian Protests Sweep US College Campuses

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TL/DR –

The University of Texas at Austin has placed the Palestine Solidarity Committee on interim suspension for allegedly violating institutional rules. The decision followed a protest organized by the group, which resulted in 50 arrests and clashes with the police. The University President, Jay Hartzell, stated the event was stopped due to credible indications that organizers were attempting to severely disrupt campus activities under the guise of free speech and expression.


University of Texas at Austin Suspends Palestine Solidarity Committee

Pro-Palestinian Protests Sweep US College Campuses

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators confront Texas Department of Public Safety officers at the University of Texas at Austin. Image courtesy: Jordan Vonderhaar/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The Palestine Solidarity Committee (PSC) at the University of Texas at Austin has been put on “interim suspension” for “alleged violation of institutional rules,” stated by university spokesperson Brian Davis.

“To clarify, suspension applies to the group, not individual members. The duration of suspension is set by the Dean of Students office,” Davis added.

The PSC, organizers of a recent event met by significant police presence, shared a statement on Instagram about the suspension. The group deems it as a hindrance to free speech meant to distract from Israel’s actions against Palestinians.

CNN is inquiring about what the interim suspension implies for the group. It remains uncertain whether the group’s planned vigil for Monday will proceed.

The university justified its position to involve law enforcement to stop Wednesday’s rally, which resulted in over 50 arrests and numerous confrontations between police and students. The PSC was also warned by the Dean of Students that their unapproved event would lead to disciplinary action, including suspension.

Despite using phrases like “occupy the lawn” in their promotional posts, PSC members affirm they had no intention of setting up encampments on the lawn or staying overnight. The group had even planned a schedule for the event, including study breaks and teach-ins.

The university’s president, Jay Hartzell, explained the school’s attempt to halt the event was due to credible indications that organizers planned to disrupt campus activities for an extended period. Hartzell also highlighted that 26 of the 55 arrests were individuals not affiliated with the university.

Acording to Hartzell, the university has hosted 13 pro-Palestinian events in recent months without incident.

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