US representatives decry arrest of pro-Palestine protestors at George Washington University

US representatives decry arrest of pro-Palestine protestors at George Washington University

Students protesting across US 'because they oppose our government's silence and complicity in the deaths of at least 35,000 Palestinians,' says Congresswoman Cori Bush

By Diyar Guldogan

WASHINGTON (AA) - US Representatives Cori Bush and Rashida Tlaib expressed support Wednesday for pro-Palestine protestors who were arrested earlier at George Washington University (GWU) in the capital.

"Students are protesting all across the country because they believe our government has failed to recognize the common humanity of all people,” Bush said at a news conference alongside the students.

"They're protesting because they oppose our government's silence and complicity in the deaths of at least 35,000 Palestinians," she added.

Her remarks came after police dispersed a pro-Palestine tent encampment at GWU early Wednesday. Dozens of students who are in solidarity with Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and demand that their school divest from Israel were arrested.

Inviting colleagues at Congress to join her and Tlaib and "these brave students on the right side of history,” Bush said: "We must hear the demands of these students because we believe strongly that change must happen."

Tlaib, the only Palestinian American in Congress, said that "under the cover of darkness," the police pepper sprayed, brutalized and arrested non-violent student protesters at GWU.

"It is outrageous that police are now entering college campuses across our nation with their guns drawn, targeting students with pepper spray, tear gas, rubber bullets and tasers. Shame!" she added.

Pro-Palestine college campus protests have been persistent since April 17, when students at New York’s Columbia University launched an encampment in solidarity with Gaza and demanded that their school divest from Israel.

- Police 'forcibly' removed demonstrators

A student from the GWU, Kali, said the encampment in solidarity with Palestinians and protests against the ongoing genocide in Gaza was quickly met with overwhelming community support, "more than we could have ever imagined."

"We, as American college students, recognize that is our moral imperative as human beings to take a firm stance against the complicity of our universities in this genocide and all atrocities that Israel has committed against the indigenous Palestinian people for over 75 years," Kali said.

Another student, Miriam, said GWU had disposed of nearly all the resources in the encampment left behind after the Metropolitan Police Department forcibly removed all demonstrators.

Moataz, another student, said he suffered a serious injury to his left hand as a result of the police intervention and was exposed to intense pepper gas.

"Last night's brutal assault of students and DC community members was done at the request of George Washington University," he added.

More than 2,000 people have been arrested at US campuses since April 18 amid heavily polarized debates over the right to protest, the limits of free speech and accusations of antisemitism.

But while clashes and standoffs with police at Columbia University, Portland State University and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) have captured global attention, demonstrations and sit-ins are also being held on campuses in parts of Europe, including France, the Netherlands and Switzerland. ​​​​​​​

US representatives decry arrest of pro-Palestine protestors at George Washington University

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