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Authorities Detain Over 200 Individuals in Response to 4 College Demonstrations

Officials reported the arrest of more than 200 demonstrators on Saturday at Northeastern University, Arizona State University, Indiana University, and Washington University in St. Louis. These arrests come amid efforts by colleges nationwide to manage escalating pro-Palestinian protests and encampments on their campuses.

Since April 18, over 700 protesters have been detained at various U.S. universities, a surge that began when Columbia University called upon the New York Police Department to clear a protest encampment. Many of those arrested have since been released.

At Washington University in St. Louis, over 80 individuals were apprehended, prompting the campus to implement a lockdown. Among those arrested was Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for the 2024 presidential election, along with her campaign manager and another staff member, according to a spokesman for the campaign.

Earlier that day at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts State Police officers arrived at an encampment on Centennial Common to arrest protesters, resulting in the detainment of 102 individuals. While the university claimed the protest had been influenced by external organizers and condemned antisemitic language, protesters refuted these allegations.

The demonstrations at Northeastern University focused on calls for transparency regarding the university’s investments and demanded divestment from companies perceived as supporting the conflict in Gaza. By Saturday morning, authorities had cleared the majority of the encampment, assisted by a moving company.

Similar incidents occurred at other universities, including Arizona State University, where 69 people were arrested for setting up an unauthorized encampment. At Indiana University Bloomington, 23 protesters were detained after attempting to occupy the university space indefinitely.

Colleges have employed varying tactics to address the protests, with some opting for de-escalation, while others, like the University of Southern California and Emory University, have resorted to police intervention. Despite the arrests, many demonstrations have remained peaceful, with protesters voluntarily cooperating with authorities.

Increased police presence was observed at several campuses on Saturday, though not all resulted in arrests. At the University of Pennsylvania, both protesters and counterprotesters were present, while California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt saw protesters occupy two buildings earlier in the week.

Apart from arrests, universities are resorting to additional measures to manage the situation. Harvard University restricted access to its historic Harvard Yard and suspended a pro-Palestinian group. Similarly, Cornell University suspended students associated with a campus encampment, warning of further disciplinary actions if necessary.

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