House cancels DC mayor testimony after campus arrests

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By Creative Media News

  1. Pro-Palestinian encampment cleared at George Washington University by police
  2. House Republicans cancel DC mayor’s testimony after campus arrests
  3. President Biden cautions against antisemitism, addresses Israeli-Palestinian conflict fallout

Early Wednesday morning, 33 individuals were apprehended at George Washington University (GW) as police cleared a pro-Palestinian encampment from the campus.

According to police in Washington, DC, protestors were apprehended on charges of assaulting a police officer and unauthorized entry.

Since April 25th, university students have been residing within the encampment.

In response to the arrests, House Republicans cancelled Mayor Muriel Bowser’s scheduled testimony after exerting pressure on DC officials to disperse the demonstrations.

The police operation occurred one week after the visit of six Republican members of the House of Representatives Oversight Committee to the GW protest encampment, during which they urged authorities to apprehend the protesters implicated.

The decision to remove the encampment on Wednesday was implemented before the scheduled appearance of Metropolitan Police Department Chief Pamela Smith and Ms Bowser before the House Oversight Committee regarding the city’s management of the unrest.

Republican Representative James Comer, who served as the chair of the House Oversight Committee, declared the appearance cancelled in a statement. Comer expressed his satisfaction that Mayor Bowser responded promptly to the potential oversight hearing.

GW Hatchet, an independent student newspaper at the university, reported on the arrests: At approximately 03:30 local time, officers issued their third and final warning to protesters to vacate, stating that anyone who persisted in U-Yard and the segment of H Street in front of the plaza would be subject to arrest.

Some protestors who declined to leave were reportedly pepper-sprayed by police, according to the newspaper.

The university stated that police dispersed the protesters from the unlawful encampment on GW’s University Yard in a secure and orderly operation.

They further stated that no significant injuries were reported during the arrests.

In the past, the encampment persisted despite GW’s endeavours to provide an alternative location for the demonstration.

Officials from the university state that they do not know what proportion of the protesters are students.

A previous GW statement stated that while the university is committed to protecting students’ rights to free expression, the encampment had transformed into an illegal activity, with participants violating multiple university policies and city regulations.

In recent days, tensions have escalated following the removal by police of a sizable Palestinian flag hoisted by protesters above a campus structure. Hoisting the flag was deemed an “aggressive act of lawlessness” by the university.

Officers were dispatched to the protest due to a “gradual escalation in the volatility,” according to Metro Police.

According to the statement, the MPD dispersed the protesters from the GW campus and adjacent streets this morning in collaboration with the GW administration and police.

University Yard and the vicinity have been fortified with additional security personnel, according to GW. However, all operations continue as usual.

The university added that the yard will remain closed until the conclusion of commencement ceremonies on May 19.

In opposition to the conflict in Gaza, several universities throughout the nation have been the site of contentious demonstrations.

In opposition to the conflict, students have organized sit-ins, fasts, rallies, and, most recently, encampments since the 7 October attack by Hamas and Israel’s retaliatory assault.

Pro-Palestine demonstrations have transpired in 45 states and the District of Columbia since they commenced on April 17 at Columbia University in New York.

Academic institutions, many of which possess enormous endowments, are being pressured to divest financially from Israel.

Many also advocate for severing academic ties between their universities and Israeli institutions.

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Former President Joe Biden stated that while individuals could protest, they had no authority to sow disorder.

Mr. Biden, however, cautioned on Tuesday that antisemitism is becoming an increasing menace in the United States, including on college campuses. He was participating in a contentious American discourse regarding Jewish security, Zionism, free speech, and support for Israel in the nation with the most Jews following Israel.

Mr. Biden told a bipartisan audience at the annual commemoration of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum: This hatred (of Jews) remains ingrained in the souls of far too many individuals around the globe and demands our continued vigilance and outspokenness.

Seven and a half months later, rather than seventy-five years, individuals are already forgetting… that Hamas was the source of this terror, he further stated.

“Both you and I have not forgotten this. Furthermore, we shall not forget.”

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