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Yale student protesters arrested amid pro-Palestinian demonstration

Protesters demand that Yale University divest from its military manufacturers and express “solidarity with Gaza” amid the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas were arrested Monday after officials said they refused to disband an encampment on campus. Protests then spread to the streets of New Haven, Connecticut.

In recent days, a pro-Palestinian protest group called “Occupy Beinecke” set up an encampment of 24 tents outside Yale’s Beinecke Plaza. In a statement posted on Instagram, the group said the camp also stood in solidarity with recent protests at Columbia University, which gave rise to multiple arrests last week and this weekend. In Boston, MIT and Emerson College campuses also saw student protests.

At Yale, university and New Haven police on Monday evicted protesters camped outside the Schwarzman Center and blocked the entrance to Beinecke Plaza. The protest spilled into the streets of New Haven, home to Yale’s campus, about 80 miles north of New York.

Video posted to social media showed students walking down Grove and College streets, changing clothes and cheering.

Police arrested 45 protesters on Monday. In a statement to CBS News, a Yale spokesperson said the university repeatedly asked protesters to leave the square and when many did not leave voluntarily, they were arrested. The spokesperson said the arrested students will also be subject to disciplinary action at Yale, which includes a range of possible sanctions, including reprimand, probation and suspension.

In a statement, New Haven police confirmed they assisted university police officers around 6:30 a.m. Monday. He said those arrested were charged with criminal trespass, a misdemeanor. They were taken to a Yale police station, where they were processed and released.

The police department said as long as the protest at Grove and College streets remains peaceful, there are no plans to make any further arrests.

“It is ridiculous that students are being charged with criminal trespass for peacefully protesting on their own campus,” said Yale law student Chisato Kimura, according to a statement released by Occupy Beinecke.

The current protest took place after the Yale Advisory Committee on Investor Responsibility ruled that manufacturing military weapons for authorized sales did not “meet the threshold for serious social harm, a prerequisite for divestment.” .

The group’s alleged occupation of Beinecke Plaza, which was the site of Yale student protests during the divestment campaign against South African apartheid in the mid-1980s, began last week when students placed dozens of books outside the Schwarzman Center.

A university spokesperson said officials spent several hours with the student protesters on Sunday, offering them the opportunity to meet with trustees, including the chairman of the company’s Investor Responsibility Committee, but that the The offer had been refused.

According to Occupy Beinecke organizers, they declined the meeting because they said it “would not be productive if students and administrators did not have equal access to information about Yale’s holdings.” .

“The directors offered to release the already public asset allocation reports, but refused to commit to any form of additional disclosure,” the group said in a statement. “After having only ten minutes to decide on the administration’s final offer, the students rejected it and said they would remain in the camp until their demands were met.”

On Sunday, Yale University President Peter Salovey released a statement on the protests, saying the university supports free speech and civil discourse and must also focus on campus safety and maintaining university operations.

“Many students participating in the protests, including those who led counter-protests, did so peacefully,” Salovey said. “However, I am aware of reports of egregious behavior, such as intimidation and harassment, shoving people in crowds, removing the flag from the square, and other harmful acts.”

A Jewish Yale student reported over the weekend that she was struck in the eye by a flagpole raised by a protester waving a Palestinian flag. She said she was treated at a hospital and was recovering.

Salovey said university leaders spoke to protesters about the importance of following school policies and guidelines.

“Setting up structures, defying the directives of university officials, remaining on campus spaces beyond permitted hours, and other acts that violate university policies and guidelines create safety risks and hinder the work of our university,” he said.

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