State Troopers Surround Pro-Palestinian Protesters At Texas University

[Screenshot/The Texas Horn]

Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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Texas state troopers and the Austin Police Department (APD) surrounded anti-Israel protesters at the University of Texas at Austin on Wednesday, according to a campus newspaper.

The Palestine Solidarity Committee organized the anti-Israel demonstration, “Popular University for Gaza,” at the university’s campus for Wednesday afternoon as similar protests have sparked across prominent campuses. The students and organizations’ members have attempted to occupy campuses throughout the U.S. to demonstrate against Israel as the war in Gaza rages.

Police arrested at least 10 protesters following a chaotic clash between a crowd of anti-Israel participants and members of the APD and Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), according to ABC News.

The protesters, most of whom were masked, marched on campus calling for the university to “disclose” and “divest” from Israel, according to footage posted by The Texas Horn, the university’s student-run conservative publication. Law enforcement and state troopers arrived to prevent them from occupying the campus, a trend that has occurred at anti-Israel campus protests.

“Disclose, divest, we will not stop, we will not rest,” the protesters repeatedly chanted.

State troopers and the police department arrived at the protest and prevented the protesters’ attempt to “occupy the lawn,” The Texas Horn reported.

An increased presence of the troops arrived to protect the campus from the protesters’ takeover, according to The Texas Horn.

Law enforcement called on the protesters to disperse, according to the outlet. The protest continued with a crowd chanting “Free, Free, Free Palestine.” Law enforcement can be seen following the protesters’ on the side of the road.

The protesters claimed the Austin Police Department and Israel Defense Forces are the same as the Ku Klux Klan, chanting “APD, KKK, IDF, they’re all the same.”

Footage shows a crowd of protesters surrounding three troopers on horses and continuing the protest despite law enforcements’ orders to disperse, according to The Texas Horn.

One protester reportedly threw poop at the officers, The Texas Horn reported.

A crowd started a chant telling the troopers “you don’t scare us” and “you serve us” as horseback troopers blocked the road.

“You don’t scare us!” they repeatedly chanted. “We are the people, you serve us. You serve us.”

The troops began forcefully dispersing protesters as they continuously ignored demands to end the protest, according to footage posted by KXAN News’ Ryan Chandler. Law enforcement arrested at least four protesters by 2:30 p.m.

Arrests continued as protesters refused law enforcements’ orders and clashed with officers.

Footage posted by The Texas Horn found officers handcuffing and placing protesters in custody in the back of their vehicle.

The clash escalated as DPS officials landed in a standoff with protesters as they attempted to forcefully disperse them.

The interaction between police and the protesters turned violent as officers are seen wrestling and detaining several protesters on a grassy hill, footage posted by Chandler shows. The protesters involved appeared to be placed under arrest.

The university’s Office of the Dean of Students sent a letter ordering the group to cancel the demonstration as it planned to “violate [the university’s] policies and rules” and “disrupt campus operations,” according to a letter posted by Chandler. The university threatened to suspend students who participate in the protest and have any individual refusing to comply with orders arrested.

“Simply put, The University of Texas at Austin will not allow this campus to be ‘taken’ and protesters to derail our mission in ways that groups affiliated with your national organization have accomplished elsewhere,” the letter read. “Please be advised you are not permitted to hold your event on the University campus. Any attempt to do so will subject your organization and its attending members to discipline including suspension under the Institutional Rules. Individuals not affiliated with the University and attempting to attend this event will be directed to leave campus. Refusal to comply may result in arrest.”

Anti-Israel protests have sparked major clashes between law enforcement and college students across the U.S., particularly on Ivy League campuses. The New York Police Department (NYPD) arrested over 100 protesters Thursday who built encampments on campus and refused to exit the area. (RELATED: AOC Praises ‘Peaceful’ Anti-Israel Protesters Causing Chaos On Ivy League Campuses)

Columbia University President Nemat “Minouche” Shafik ordered classes to be held remotely Monday as the university heightened its security controls around the Morningside Heights campus, according to ABC News 7. Police reportedly arrested 113 people earlier in the week as they clashed with the protesters, and three more were arrested Saturday.

“We are acting on concerns we are hearing from our Jewish students and are providing additional support and resources to ensure that our community remains safe,” a Columbia University spokesperson told CNN in a statement.

Police arrested over 40 individuals were arrested at Yale University Sunday for criminal trespass after they refused to disband their encampments. A pro-Palestinian group called “Occupy Beinecke” similarly created a 24-tent encampment on the university’s campus to show solidarity with their Columbia University counterparts, CBS News reported.

Sahar Tartak, a Jewish student at Yale University, alleged to the New York Post that she got stabbed in the eye with a Palestinian flag Sunday night as pro-Palestinian protesters allegedly taunted her and gave her the middle finger.

President Joe Biden condemned anti-Israel protests that have led many Jewish students to flee campuses for their personal safety.

“The ancient story of persecution against Jews in the Haggadah also reminds us that we must speak out against the alarming surge of Antisemitism – in our schools, communities, and online. Silence is complicity. Even in recent days, we’ve seen harassment and calls for violence against Jews,” the president’s statement read.

“This blatant Antisemitism is reprehensible and dangerous – and it has absolutely no place on college campuses, or anywhere in our country,” Biden continued.

Protesters have uttered blatantly antisemitic and pro-Hamas chants on campus. Students could be heard chanting, “Al-Qassam you make us proud, kill another soldier now,” “We say justice, you say how. Burn Tel Aviv to the ground” and “Hamas we love you. We support your rockets, too,” according to Fox News.

Rabbi Elie Buechler, who is associated with Columbia’s Orthodox Union Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus, told Jake Tapper he sent a WhatsApp message to around 300 primarily Orthodox Jewish students “strongly” suggesting they leave campus, CNN reported.