Pro-Palestine demonstrations at US universities: More than 3 thousand people have been arrested

PHILADELPHIA — Pro-Palestinian protesters ignored the Drexel University president's request to disband their camp Monday, as arrests related to campus protests against the war between Israel and Hamas surpassed 3,000 in the United States.

The Drexel campus remains closed, and classes were held virtually while police monitored the demonstration in the area Korman Quad from school. Many employees were asked to work from home.

In a statement issued a day earlier, Drexel President John Fry said that until 60 protesters were in the camp, which, he noted, was “intolerably detrimental to the normal functioning of the university.” He added that there were “serious concerns about the conduct of some participants, including distressing reports and images of protesters subjecting passersby to anti-Semitic speeches, signs and chants.” Fry threatened disciplinary action against Drexel students who participated in the protest.

The Drexel Palestinian Coalition responded on Instagram late Sunday, saying that “it is a slander to accuse the camp of 'hateful' or 'intimidating' actions when we have done neither.” The group accused Drexel and city police of harassment and intimidation.

No arrests were reported.

Students and others have set up tents on campuses across the country to pressure universities to cut their economic ties with Israel. Tensions over the war have been high on campuses since the fall, but demonstrations spread quickly following the April 18 police crackdown on a camp at Columbia University.

More than 3,000 people have been arrested on US campuses in the last month. Lately, campuses have been quieter, with fewer arrests, due to the holiday period. Even so, Universities have been attentive to possible alterations in graduation ceremonies.

Elsewhere, dozens of George Washington University graduates walked out of graduation ceremonies at the base of the Washington Monument on Sunday, disrupting the university's president's speech. Ellen Granbergwhile at Morehouse College in Atlanta, President Joe Biden told graduates that he has heard the voices of protest and has asked “immediate ceasefire in Gaza and the return of hostages taken by Hamas.