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Protesters arrested on 2 college campuses in Florida

9 were at University of Florida, 3 at University of South Florida
University of Florida
Posted at 10:00 PM, Apr 29, 2024

Nine protesters were arrested at the University of Florida campus in Gainesville and three at the University of South Florida in Tampa on Monday related to Israel and its war against Hamas in Gaza.

"This is not complicated: The University of Florida is not a day care, and we do not treat protesters like children. They knew the rules, they broke the rules, and they’ll face the consequences," Steve Orlando, University of Florida spokesperson, said in a statement.

"For many days, we have patiently told protesters — many of whom are outside agitators — that they were able to exercise their right to free speech and free assembly," he said. "And we also told them that clearly prohibited activities would result in a trespassing order from UPD (barring them from all university properties for three years) and an interim suspension from the university.

"For days UPD patiently and consistently reiterated the rules," Orlando said. "Today, individuals who refused to comply were arrested after UPD gave multiple warnings and multiple opportunities to comply."

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At least 20 officers from the Gainesville Police Department, the University of Florida Police Department and the Florida Highway Patrol are on the campus, according to The Gainesville Sun. Protesters yelled at police during the detainment process.

The road between the Plaza of the Americas and University Auditorium was blocked off by police. As of 8 p.m., still held about 75 protesters.

At USF in Tampa, the protesters were arrested during a pro-Palestinian demonstration that began shortly after noon Monday.

Protesters began to erect at least one tent near MLK Plaza in solidarity with students across the nation.

Columbia gave protesters a deadline to disband their encampment by Monday afternoon, and said it would suspend those that did not comply.

At the University of Texas in Austin, police arrested several protesters and used pepper spray and flash-bang explosives to clear students away from the van carrying detainees.

At Northeastern University in Boston, police arrested some 100 people, planning to charge them with trespassing and disorderly conduct.

Northeastern said protests had been "infiltrated by professional organizers."

The University of Southern California said it closed its campus to nonresidents. Officials said the school was dealing with illegal encampments and vandalism.