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Pro-Palestine protest forms at ASU, arrests made

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(The Center Square) – A pro-Palestine protest led to arrests at the Tempe campus of Arizona State University on Friday.

Protesters who set up an encampment were taken into custody by police. There were some pro-Israel counter-protesters as well.

“Israel is a terrorist state,” protesters were shouting at one point, according to a video from ABC15.

The outlet reported that the list of the protester’s demands ranged from cutting any ties between Israel and the university to wanting President Michael Crow to step down.

In a statement, the university explained that encampments not cleared could result in further arrests.

“Arizona State University Police arrested individuals for setting up an unauthorized encampment, in violation of university policy and the ABOR Student Code of Conduct,” ASU said in a statement on Friday. “Encampments and unlawful assembly are prohibited on Arizona State University property unless they are part of a university-sanctioned activity. Individuals found setting up unapproved encampments will be directed to dismantle them immediately and failure to comply may result in arrest. ASU is committed to maintaining a secure environment for everyone.”

The attack by Hamas on Israel on Oct. 7 sparked an all-out war between the two, which has even resulted in attempted military action from Iran against Israel. However, many have been critical of how the Israeli government has responded, ranging from saying the response in Gaza has been disproportionate to the attack to even accusing the Israelis of “genocide.”

The Center Square asked Gov. Katie Hobbs their thoughts on the protests. The office elaborated on her stance when it comes to the reported demands.

“Governor Hobbs supports the right to free speech and peaceful protest. However, she strongly opposes any calls to boycott and divest from Israel, attacks on Israel’s right to exist, demands to abolish the police, or rhetoric that supports or encourages violence. College campuses should remain safe for every student,” Hobbs’ spokesman, Christian Slater, told The Center Square in a message.

“The Governor has been in contact with university presidents and expressed the State’s willingness to support them in ensuring a safe and secure campus environment,” he continued.

Campuses around the country, including Columbia University in New York and the University of Southern California are facing encampment-style protests. In Tucson, a large protest took place on Thursday, according to the Arizona Daily Star.

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