DC Police Refuse GWU Request to Arrest Students

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The Washington D.C. police turned down a request by George Washington University president to clear out the anti-genocide encampment on campus, reports Joe Lauria.

Students in fiery protest at GWU on Thursday. (Joe Lauria)

By Joe Lauria
in Washington, D.C.
Special to Consortium News

From the university’s perspective, it seemed like the perfect time for the police to move in and break up the students’ anti-genocide camp:  3 a.m. 

George Washington University had given the students until 7 p.m. on Thursday night to clear out. Instead more than a thousand students from other area universities and other supporters flooded the university yard, forming a circle around around the camp. 

As the time advanced beyond midnight the crowd dwindled, leaving the encampment less protected.  It seemed logical that under the cover of darkness, with fewer media also present, the police would intervene, as they have on a growing number of campuses around the United States.

And that’s what the GWU president wanted.  But the Washington mayor and the police brass refused, according to The Washington Post.   

“D.C. police rejected pleas from George Washington University officials to clear pro-Palestinian demonstrators out of an on-campus encampment early Friday morning, saying they worried about the optics of moving against a small number of peaceful protesters, according to two officials familiar with the talks,” the Post reported

The newspaper said:

“Officers had assembled around 3 a.m. and were prepared to enter the encampment, but senior leaders in the police chief’s and mayor’s office ordered them to stand down, the officials said. The demonstrators were small in number and largely peaceful, and the city officials told their university counterparts they wanted to avoid images of violent altercations between police and protesters flashing across TV screens across the country. The George Washington campus is just west of downtown Washington, five blocks from the White House.” 

This is a critical moment in the way the U.S. and European establishments deal with the exploding resistance to their unconscionable support for genocide.

Either they face the stark reality that their actions are spurring fierce resistance that threatens their political survival, and thus stop arming and funding Israel, or they increase the repression against opposition, beginning with the student protestors.  These decisions will be made in these days and will have enormous repercussions.  

That the Washington mayor and police chiefs showed the guts to leave the students alone reveals serious doubts creeping into official thinking. Even public officials see what Israel is doing. 

Around the US

Meanwhile, campus rebellions against Israel’s ongoing genocide of the Palestinian people and the U.S. support for it, is spreading rapidly.

Whistleblower Edward Snowden tweeted out this map on Friday:   

At New York University professors blocked the police from going after their students. Encampments sprung up at the City College of New York (CCNY) part of the City University (CUNY); and at the University of Connecticut. There was police violence at Ohio State, as these tweets report:  

And in Berlin, German police forcibly broke up an anti-genocide camp at the Reichstag.



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Disclaimer: DC Police Refuse GWU Request to Arrest Students - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Latheefarook.com point-of-view

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