Colleges claim that not all protesters arrested are from their campus: ‘Outside groups’

U.S. Colleges across the country are reporting that anti-Israel protesters participating in demonstrations and being arrested are not part of the school community and are instead outsiders.

Emory University in Atlanta released a statement Thursday saying 28 people, including 20 members of the school community, were arrested during a demonstration on the Emory Quad.

In a statement, Cheryl Elliott, vice president of public safety at Emory University, said a few dozen protesters arrived on campus just before 7:45 a.m.

When the protesters arrived, they ignored and pushed past Emory Police Department (EPD) officers on the quad and set up tents in an area where equipment and paraphernalia for the opening ceremony were displayed.


“Based on their actions and refusal to confirm their connection to Emory, EPD has determined that these individuals are not members of the Emory community,” Elliott said.

The Atlanta Police Department and Georgia State Patrol responded to assist with the situation, at which point social media accounts began announcing a protest and occupation of the Quad, calling on non-Emory community members to join the protest.

Read More: Over ‘antisemitic incidents,’ GOP lawmakers demand Columbia University pull funding

EPD continues to issue warnings to people in the camp, saying they are trespassing on private property and advising them to leave.

Warnings were ignored and officers from three police agencies worked to disperse the crowd and arrest people for trespassing.

As the incidents escalated and objects were thrown at officers, Elliott said, a man appeared to attack a non-EPD officer and subdue him with an electric stun gun, as seen in a video shared on social media. The police then used chemical irritants to control the crowd.

The passenger that accosted Adams accused him of leaving the state while anti-Israel agitators were being arrested by police at Columbia University in recent days.
The passenger that accosted Adams accused him of leaving the state while anti-Israel agitators were being arrested by police at Columbia University in recent days.

“According to this message, we were informed that 28 people, including 20 Emory community members, were arrested, some of whom have since been released,” Elliott said.

Emory is not the only school to report outsiders participating in protests.

On Saturday night, George Washington University confirmed that anti-Israel protests included outsiders not affiliated with the school.

University officials said many unaffiliated people or outsiders participated in the protest. After that, steps were taken to prevent these people from entering the university yard. While the school is also aware of offensive signs, GW officials say they have not caught anyone associated with the university.

At Ohio State University, police have arrested nearly 40 people over the past two days after breaking up an anti-Israel encampment. According to a report from a local ABC station, 18 students were among the 40 arrested.

Officials at the University of Texas at Austin said about half of those arrested during anti-Israel demonstrations last Wednesday were not affiliated with the university.

Mounted police work to contain demonstrators protesting the war in Gaza at the University of Texas at Austin on April 24, 2024.
Mounted police work to contain demonstrators protesting the war in Gaza at the University of Texas at Austin on April 24, 2024. 

The university said the protest, organized by the Palestine Solidarity Committee, was “significantly attended by outside groups on our campus yesterday”.

“We have seen the presence of this outside group from the affiliated national organization’s attempts to disrupt and create disorder,” UT Austin said. “Almost half (26) of the 55 who violated institutional rules were not affiliated with the University of Texas.”

Outside protesters also infiltrated protests at Northeastern University in Boston.

“This morning, the Northeastern University Police Department (NUPD) – in cooperation with local law enforcement partners – began clearing an unauthorized encampment on the university’s Boston campus,” Northeastern Vice President of Communications Renata Nuell said in a statement to FOX 25 in Boston. “What started as a student demonstration two days ago, was infiltrated by professional organizers unrelated to Northeastern. Last night, the use of extreme anti-Semitic slurs, including ‘kill the Jews,’ crossed the line. We will not tolerate this kind of hate. On our campus.”

Protests have continued for the past week at Columbia University in New York City.

Columbia President Nemat “Minoche” Shafik stated the protests last week, saying he “deeply regrets” some of the actions of protesters who set up a “camp” on campus, chanting anti-Semitic slogans and chants at students and faculty.

Over 'antisemitic incidents,' GOP lawmakers demand Columbia University pull funding
Over ‘antisemitic incidents,’ GOP lawmakers demand Columbia University pull funding

“Our bonds as a community have been severely tested, which will take a lot of time and effort to reassert,” Shafiq said before noting the impact of outsiders on the community. “Students from a range of communities have expressed fears about their safety and we have announced additional measures we are taking to address safety concerns. The decibel of our differences has increased in recent days. These tensions have been exploited and amplified by individuals who have come to campus to pursue their agendas unaffiliated with Columbia.”

US Newzs Digital reached out to several colleges and universities — Yale, New York University, Harvard, and the University of Southern California — where anti-Israel protests have taken place over the past week, but multiple attempts for comment were not heard back—influence of outsiders.

However, the New York City Police Department recognized the influence of outsiders, particularly at Columbia University.

“What may have started as a group of Columbia students wanting to express their constitutional right to protest has attracted outside groups of agitators trying to hijack a peaceful protest and turn it into something more vicious,” NYPD Deputy Commissioner Kaz Daughtry said. Posted in X “The NYPD sees similar groups of professional protesters at various demonstrations nightly, regardless of the message; sometimes changing sides by the week. The same outside protesters continue to spew hate and anti-Semitism.”

“The NYPD has and will always support the right to protest peacefully; however, we are ready to address what is happening at Columbia University as soon as the university president gives us permission on their private property,” Daughtry added.

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