Arlington, Texas: Police break up UT Arlington encampment

University police moved to break up the eight-day protest Thursday morning. No arrests were made.

arlington, Texas — University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) police broke up a pro-Palestinian protest Thursday, ending an eight-day encampment. 

Since May 2, the Progressive Student Union and UTA Students for Justice in Palestine at UTA have maintained an encampment on campus demanding divestment from companies with ties to the Israeli government and an immediate ceasefire. The demand echoes those of protestors who tried to set up encampments at UT dallas, UT Austin, and other universities across the country. 

University officials confirmed that police broke up the encampment around 11 a.m. Thursday. Over the past week, people not affiliated with UTA brought more personal items and storage containers to the site, violating university policy, a UTA spokesperson said.  

The university allowed protestors to remain on the University's Central Library Lawn for eight days, reminding the students about UTA's camping policies to ensure compliance, a UTA spokesperson said in a statement.

No arrests were made by law enforcement or state troopers. Protestors sent out a press release early Thursday morning, saying they expected to be removed from campus that day. 

"This unwarranted action not only infringes upon our rights to peaceful assembly and protest but also underscores the systemic efforts to silence us and uphold the status quo of injustice," the release stated. 

Last Thursday, a UT-Arlington lecturer was arrested at the encampment after attempting to set up tents there. The Arlington encampment is different from others established by protestors across the country, protestors did not sleep on the site or set up shelters. The protestors were also accused of theft for utilizing campus rocks, according to the release.

“Instead of essentially martyring ourselves and being arrested within one or two hours of setting up, we decided to go for longevity,” student Seraphine Pecson previously told WFAA. “And see how much we can get away with while still being in the bounds of legality.” 

A day before the encampment at UTA began, protestors were removed from an encampment and 21 people were arrested from the UT-Dallas encampment. 


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