Wednesday 1 May 2024

Dozens Arrested After Police Break Up Anti-Israel Occupation On Cal Poly Humboldt Campus

 Police arrested dozens of people early Tuesday at California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt, ending a weeklong student protest against Israel.

Officers took 25 individuals into custody who had taken over Siemens Hall, where the president’s office is located, and another nearby building, Nelson Hall East, according to The New York Times. The law enforcement action came after days of administrators bargaining with protesters and rioters and a complete shutdown of the university’s campus.

“What was occurring was not free expression or a protest,” the university said in a statement, according to the Times. “It was criminal activity, and there were serious concerns it would spread even further on campus.”

The arrested individuals are facing a range of charges including unlawful assembly, vandalism, assault of police, and other counts. The university campus will remain shut down through May 10.

Rioters occupied Siemens Hall on April 22 and held the building, resisting police and administration efforts to remove them, until police officers moved on the rioters early Tuesday morning. The occupiers had renamed the hall “Intifada Hall” and made a number of demands including that the university disclose investments in companies with ties to Israel, cut ties with Israeli universities, and drop charges against three students arrested last week.

After arrests were made and the occupiers cleared out of the buildings, video of the inside of Nelson Hall East showed graffiti throughout the building with messages such as “Land Back Now,” “Death 2 America,” and “Intifada Forever.”

Other video that surfaced on social media captured one of the arrests.

Footage caught some of the antics prior to law enforcement’s move against the occupied buildings.

Cal Poly Humboldt, as the university is known, put out a statement on Friday announcing that the campus would be shut down for the rest of the semester amid the protests and riots.

“Campus is now closed through May 10, and work and academic instruction will be remote as individuals continue to occupy Siemens Hall and Nelson Hall East,” the statement said.

The university said protesters have “attempted several times to break into multiple locked buildings with the intention of either locking themselves in, vandalizing, or stealing equipment.”

The protests shut down Cal Poly Humboldt as similar unrest continues to rock the prestigious Columbia University on the other side of the country. Protesters at Columbia barricaded themselves inside a university building on Tuesday morning in a similar fashion to those at Cal Poly Humboldt.

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