Clarke County

UGA students, staff arrested after set up of encampment on campus

ATHENS, Ga. — Around 17 protesters were arrested on the University of Georgia campus after some students and some Athens community members held a pro-Palestine demonstration Monday.

According to a UGA spokesperson Greg Trevor, the Monday morning’s encampment on the North Campus Quad crossed a line and violated the school’s policies.

Students say the university has chosen profit over the lives of the Palestinian people and the overwhelming force of student opinion.

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Trevor said that the students and staff did not make a required reservation under UGA’s Freedom of Expression Policy. This led to five protesters erecting tents and a barricade, blocking sidewalks and building entrances, and using amplified sound.

Officials stated that protesters were told repeatedly for over an hour that the tents and barricades they had put in place had to be removed and that they must comply with school policies. They were then told they could make a reservation and relocate to one of the designated forums, but they refused. UGA warned protesters they would be arrested for trespassing if they did not comply with policies. UGA police arrested those who refused to comply.

Channel 2′s Audrey Washington was in Athens Monday, where she saw a few of the protesters walk out of the jail after making bond. They did not want to speak on camera.

A protester and UGA alum who only wanted to be identified as John waited for others to be released.

“(I’m) trying to show solidarity and support for them,” John said. “A lot of them are students and definitely scared right now. There’s a lot of concern among the community.”

Police moved in quickly Monday morning.

“There were police and people protesting, and people were in handcuffs,” student William Willis said. “It was pretty crazy.”

Another protester said the police did not negotiate with the protesters.

“They just showed up and were like, ‘Y’all need to leave,’ and they had guns,” one said.

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“We remain grateful for the dedicated service of our Student Affairs team and University Police officers, who have worked tirelessly throughout the year to facilitate the safety of those who choose to exercise their right to peacefully protest on our campus. Anyone who feels threatened or who has experienced threats, harassment or discrimination is encouraged to contact the University’s Police Department and/or Equal Opportunity Office immediately. Let us make it abundantly clear that while the University of Georgia staunchly supports freedom of expression, we will not cede control of our campus to groups that refuse to abide by University policy and threaten the safety of those who live, work and study here. The University of Georgia remains an institution where ideas, viewpoints, and scholarship can be openly expressed and debated,” Trevor said.

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It was a busy Sunday on Emory’s campus as protestors gathered to resume peaceful demonstrations of pro-Palestinian protests.

But hours earlier, the peaceful demonstrations took a turn.

Several people were issued warnings for trespassing from Saturday night’s criminal activity on campus.

Emory police were called out late at night after some demonstrators vandalized campus property, painting hateful messages on several buildings and structures.

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