Students and faculty members from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Roosevelt College and Columbia College rally and march to show support for the Palestinian people in Gaza on Saturday. AFP

Pro-Palestinian protests keep roiling US college campuses

Pro-Palestinian protests at US universities showed no sign of slowing as they spread coast-to-coast over the weekend and police crackdowns and arrests continued into another week while students vowed to stay in tent encampments until their demands are met.

The students’ demands range from a ceasefire in Israel’s war with Hamas to calls for universities to stop investing in Israeli enterprises involved with the country’s military to an end for US military assistance for Israel.

Pro-Palestinian protests have spread to college campuses across the US, stoked by the mass arrest of over 100 people on Columbia university’s campus more than a week ago.

The Columbia campus was peaceful on Saturday and there were no reports of arrests of disturbances overnight, a school spokesman told Reuters. But crackdowns continued at a handful of campuses on Saturday including a lockdown at the university of Southern California (USC) and a heavy police presence.

More than 200 people were arrested at a handful of schools including 80 late on Saturday at Washington university in St. Louis. Among those arrested at Washington university was 2024 Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein.

“They are sending in the riot police and basically creating a riot in an otherwise peaceful demonstration. So this is just shameful,” Stein said in a statement.

Washington university said in a statement that those arrested would be charged with trespassing.

On Sunday, dueling demonstrations were set to begin at the university of Southern California, Los Angeles. Outside groups were planning to demonstrate in favor of and against the pro-Palestinian encampments.

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