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Protesters were arrested at the University of Pennsylvania and MIT in the latest crackdown on protests in Gaza

Protesters were arrested at the University of Pennsylvania and MIT in the latest crackdown on protests in Gaza

Police disarmed camps and arrested dozens of pro-Palestinian protesters at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Pennsylvania on Friday morning, in the latest crackdown on protests on American college campuses.

The student newspaper reported that Philadelphia police officers wearing riot gear removed journalists from the University of Pennsylvania camp before tearing down tents and throwing students’ belongings in a trash can. The university’s Public Security Department said that about 33 people were arrested.

A similar scene occurred simultaneously at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, near Boston, where student journalists reported that riot police arrested at least 10 protesters before destroying the camp and disposing of their belongings.

The dawn raids were the latest efforts by schools and local authorities to break up demonstrations at dozens of universities across the country.

Many university officials consider the camps dangerous and are trying to end them before graduation ceremonies in May, which attract large crowds of outside visitors to campus.

The demonstrators are demanding a ceasefire in the Israeli invasion of Gaza and their universities to reduce investments in companies with ties to Israel.

Authorities at Harvard University on Friday began suspending students participating in a camp on the Ivy League school’s campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, according to an Instagram post by the school’s Palestine Solidarity Committee.

Alan Garber, Harvard’s interim president, said Monday that the camp disrupts the educational environment as students take final exams and prepare to graduate. He warned that participants could be stopped, prevented from entering the university campus, and possibly prevented from taking exams and living in university housing.

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Sally Kornbluth, president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said the 10 people arrested on Friday turned themselves in “peacefully” to police, but the arrests came after escalating conflicts between pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel demonstrators.

Interim President of the University of Pennsylvania, J. Larry Jameson, said this week that “every day that the encampments exist, the campus becomes less safe,” citing reports of harassment, threatening rhetoric, the destruction of campus landmarks and a video of a student being denied entry to the encampment.

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