Over Half Arrested for Anti-Israel Protests Not Tied to School

(ConservativeSense.com) – More than half of the anti-Israel protestors arrested at New York University (NYU) were not students, according to college officials. New York Police Department (NYPD) officers arrested 133 people at NYU’s Manhattan campus on April 22, following demonstrations demanding divestment from companies who trade with the Israeli government. The protestors accuse the Jewish state of committing “genocide” in the Gaza Strip.

President Linda G. Mills said that just 65 of those detained were NYU students, faculty, or employees. She described being forced to close campus buildings due to security concerns and said she never imagined having to call on the NYPD to keep the college community safe.

New York City’s Mayor Eric Adams agreed with Ms. Mills, saying “outside agitators” were stirring up trouble in the city’s colleges, including one protestor whose husband has terrorism convictions.

Similarly, at Columbia University and the City College of New York, 47% of the 282 people arrested were not students, according to NYPD. Mayor Adams described the chaos that unfolded at colleges throughout the US as “radicalization” by “external actors” serving their own agenda.

Rebecca Weiner, NYPD deputy commissioner for Intelligence and Counterterrorism, furthermore noted that many of the demonstrators had previously been active in Occupy Wall Street protests in 2011 and the anti-police rallies that followed the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in 2020.

Meanwhile, President Biden, who has faced criticism for remaining relatively muted as chaos unleashed on American campuses, broke his silence and condemned lawbreaking while insisting that students have a Constitutional right to make their feelings known. The President said “dissent” is an essential component of democracy but added that vandalism, or forcing the cancelation of classes, is unacceptable.

The President addressed the issue at a White House conference, where reporters asked if he was willing to deploy the National Guard to restore order, and he said he was not. He also insisted that the demonstrations have not caused him to reconsider his Middle East policy.

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