Tue. May 21st, 2024

Hundreds of universities and colleges in the United States are protesting against Israel’s attack on Gaza, Palestine. The law and order forces are aggressive to disperse the protestors. More than two thousand students have already been detained. In the meantime, graduation ceremony in universities is approaching. In such a situation, some universities have canceled these programs. Some are procrastinating.

Graduation ceremonies are scheduled for the end of this week at four universities hit by protests. The event is scheduled to take place this month or next June at several other universities, including New York’s Columbia University, the epicenter of the protests.

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The university authorities fear that the protesting students may disrupt the graduation ceremony. For this reason, the authorities are taking initiatives to strengthen the security system. The protesting students threatened that if their demands are not met, they are thinking of alternative programs including boycotting these events and walking out of the venue.

On April 17, the students of Columbia University’s New York campus started the first movement, demanding that the universities stop the Israeli attack on Gaza and cut off business relations with Israel or institutions related to Israel. After that, protests spread in about 140 educational institutions in 45 states of the country.

The police are conducting raids in the universities to disperse the protestors. More than 2,300 people have been arrested till Saturday. Police dismantled the protestors’ makeshift tents. Non-lethal grenades and even bullets were used to disperse them.

In this way, the rights activists protested the suppression of the protest and the arrest of the protesting students. They are demanding to ensure the freedom of expression of students.

Columbia University students have been protesting for two weeks by pitching tents on the New York campus. The graduation ceremony of the university is scheduled to take place on May 15. However, university president Nimat Minosh said in a statement that he is worried about whether the upcoming graduation ceremony can be organized or not.

Police removed protesters from the Indiana University (IU) campus twice. The university’s protesting students have called for a boycott of the graduation ceremony.

The University of Michigan, Ohio State University and the University of Connecticut are organizing graduation ceremonies yesterday and Sunday amid student protests. Volunteers are being trained on how to deal with disruptions to the event.

READ MORE : Police suppress student protests in the United States

About 300 University of Michigan faculty, staff and alumni have protested plans to use volunteer staff for security. However, the University of Michigan authorities said that everyone will be searched when entering the venue.

The Ohio State University has organized graduation ceremonies on Sunday. The university’s president, Ted Carter, warned that any attempts to disrupt events, classes, or exams would be countered by the rules.

The University of Southern California has canceled graduation ceremonies in the face of student protests. Many other universities are planning to cancel or postpone events.

Reuters contacted the authorities of 20 universities about the extent to which student protests are affecting graduation ceremonies. Eight university authorities said they had to rethink university security and graduation ceremonies due to the agitation.

Police at the gate, drones in the sky

Columbia University has become the center of this ongoing movement across the United States. Authorities called in riot police to disperse the protesters from the campus.

Riot police came to the university last Tuesday local time. Police took armed position in front of the south gate of the university campus. At that time, seven buses were placed in front of the gate to transport the prisoners. Drones were flying overhead. The police rushed into the campus. At least half a hundred students were arrested.

The authorities stopped the exit from the main campus of the university and entry into the campus since that morning.

Law enforcers are being used to disperse protesting students, not just at Columbia, but at most universities. A University of Texas student said at least 50 policemen were already deployed on the campus. Another 30 people joined them that day. They were dressed as riot police. Their protest was peaceful. The policemen also started moving towards them. The police arrived and tried to disperse the protesters. At one point the conflict between the two sides started.

Some universities try to compromise

Although most of the university authorities have taken a tough stance in suppressing the ongoing movement of students across the country, some universities are trying to reconcile with the protesting students. Students protested by setting up tents at Brown University. However, the university authorities have assured the students that there will be no hindrance if the agitation continues peacefully.

Some universities like Northwestern University of Illinois, Rutgers University, Evergreen State College, University of Minnesota have reached an agreement with the protesting students on the same terms. Apart from this, some other universities such as University of California and Wesleyan University have allowed students to continue protesting by setting up tents.



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