Students Protest

As reported by BBC, thousands of students, at more than 130 colleges and universities across the US, have demonstrated in opposition to the ongoing war in Gaza with protests and encampments.

It can be recalled that an armed conflict between Israel and Hamas-led Palestinian militant groups has been taking place chiefly in and around the Gaza Strip since 7 October 2023. It began when Hamas launched a surprise attack on southern Israel from the Gaza Strip.

Since the 7 October attack by Hamas and Israel’s retaliatory assault, students have launched rallies, sit-ins, fasts, and, most recently, encampments against the war.

They are demanding that their schools, many with massive endowments, financially divest from Israel.

Divestment, for many of the protesters, means cutting those endowments’ ties to Israeli companies or ones that do business with Israel. Many also want their universities to end academic relationships with Israeli institutions.

Student activists say that companies doing business in Israel, or with Israeli organizations, are complicit in its ongoing war in Gaza – as are colleges investing in those companies.

Where the Student Protest Started and the Trend of Events

The encampments began last month, with dozens of students at Columbia University pitching tents on a campus lawn while the president of the New York City university testified before Congress about antisemitism.

The escalating crisis at Columbia inspired similar protests and encampments across the country, including:

  • Northeast region: George Washington; Brown; Yale; Harvard; Emerson; NYU; Georgetown; American; University of Maryland; Johns Hopkins; Tufts; Cornell; University of Pennsylvania; Princeton; Temple; Northeastern; MIT; The New School; University of Rochester; University of Pittsburgh
  • West Coast: California State Polytechnic, Humboldt; University of Southern California; University of California, Los Angeles; University of California, Berkeley; University of Washington; Oregon State University
  • Midwest region: University of Wisconsin; Northwestern; Washington University in St Louis; Indiana University; University of Michigan; Ohio State; University of Minnesota; Miami University; University of Ohio; Columbia College Chicago; University of Chicago
  • The South: Tulane; Emory; Vanderbilt; University of North Carolina, Charlotte; University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Kennesaw State; Florida State; Virginia Tech; University of Georgia, Athens
  • Southwest: University of Texas at Austin; University of Texas, Dallas; Rice; Arizona State
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The BBC has counted more than 130 colleges and universities in the US where protests or encampments have arisen in the past few weeks. Protests have occurred in 45 states and Washington D.C.

Pro-Palestinian protesters have also gathered over the past week on university campuses in Australia, Canada, France, Italy, and the UK.

Update source

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