Chaos Erupts At Anti-Israel Protest On Georgia Campus

(Photo by ELIJAH NOUVELAGE/AFP via Getty Images)

Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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An anti-Israel protest at Emory University delved into chaos Thursday as demonstrators clashed with local law enforcement.

Protesters set up encampments on the campus to stand in solidarity with Palestine as the Israel-Hamas war rages on in Gaza. Organizers of the group declared their occupation of Emory University to call for a “total institutional divestment from Israeli apartheid” in every college and university in Atlanta.

“We are occupying Emory, not because it is the only institution that is complicit in genocide and police militarization, but because its ties are some of the strongest. Emory University, the Atlanta University Center Consortium, Georgia State University, and Georgia Tech have all intimidated and repressed students and employees who spoke out in support of Palestinians. These institutions have all refused to divest from Cop City and the Zionist occupation,” organizers and activists Narek Boyajian and Jadelynn Zhang wrote in an op-ed published on and Mainline.

Officers from the Atlanta Police Department were immediately met with violence upon arrival, causing them to use chemical irritants, the department said in a statement. They disputed reports of using rubber bullets against the protesters.

“At Emory’s request, law enforcement began assisting Emory PD in securing the campus. When this happened, law enforcement officers were met with violence,” the department’s statement said. “We are aware APD officers used chemical irritants during the incident. However, APD did not deploy rubber bullets. We urge everyone to stay safe and exercise peaceful means of free speech. The Emory Police Department is the lead agency, please direct any further questions to them.”

Police officers wrestled with protesters and forcibly removed them from the campus after the university accused them of trespassing. Law enforcement allegedly used tear gas and tasers against the crowd and placed several protesters in handcuffs, according to Fox 5.

Attendees of the protest can be heard repeatedly yelling “shame” at the crowd as officers placed people in handcuffs, according to footage posted by Rugg. Both students and faculty members were among those arrested.

Noelle McAffee, the chair of the Philosophy Department, has reportedly been arrested, according to Atlanta News First reporter Patrick Quinn. Footage shows an officer with the Atlanta Police Department handcuffing and escorting McAffee.

The Atlanta Police Department is providing support and assistance at the request of the Emory Police Department, a spokesperson told the Daily Caller in a statement.

Laura Diamond, a university spokesperson, told the Daily Caller that the protesters trespassed onto campus to “disrupt” students preparing for finals.

“Several dozen protesters trespassed into Emory University’s campus early Thursday morning and set up tents on the Quad,” Diamond said. “These individuals are not members of our community. They are activists attempting to disrupt our university as our students finish classes and prepare for finals. Emory does not tolerate vandalism or other criminal activity on campus. The Emory Police Department ordered the group to leave and contacted Atlanta Police for assistance.”

One student who witnessed the protest called the event “crazy” in a video posted by Fox 5 photojournalist Jim Zorn.

Anti-Israel protests have sparked massive conflicts and chaos on college campuses across the U.S. after Columbia University began creating encampments on campus calling for the university to “divest.” Police have made over 400 arrests nationwide since April 18 as other students on other campuses emulated Columbia University, according to The New York Times. (RELATED: AOC Praises ‘Peaceful’ Anti-Israel Protesters Causing Chaos On Ivy League Campuses) 

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

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.

Police arrested at least 50 protesters at the University of Texas at Austin Wednesday afternoon as demonstrators landed in a standoff with Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers and the Austin Police Department (APD) as they disobeyed orders to disperse. A protester reported throwing poop at law enforcement and claimed the APD and Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are the same as the Ku Klux Klan.

Officers wrestled with some of the protesters on the sidelines as things continued to escalate, footage showed.

The Emory Police Department did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller’s requests for comment.