Friday, June 21, 2024

Pro-Hamas Rioters Show Up Again Like a Bad Penny, in Major Swing States

'This demonstration already has proved intolerably disruptive to normal University operations and has raised serious concerns about the conduct of some participants...'

(Headline USA) While many radical jihadists in the Middle Easts mourned the loss of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, fondly remembered by his fundamentalist fans as the “Butcher of Tehran,” activists on college campuses in the United States had little time to catch up on world events due to a busy weekend of protests subsidized by the likes of George Soros and communist China

Questions remained as to the end objective of the movement, considering many videos have shown that participants themselves don’t have a strong grasp of what they are protesting and what the specific demands are.

But the strategic location of some of the remaining encampments—in key battleground states such as Pennsylvania and Georgia—may provide a clue as to how they will evolve over the course of the summer months.

The riots hearkened back to the 2020 “summer of love” in deep-blue cities like Seattle and Portland, during which Antifa-affiliated insurrectionists regularly attacked federal buildings and even occupied public territory, as would an invading army, for weeks on end.

Rioters set up a new encampment at Drexel University in Philadelphia over the weekend, prompting a lockdown of school buildings, a day after authorities thwarted an attempted occupation of a school building at the neighboring University of Pennsylvania campus.

Up to 60 protesters were at the encampment on the campus’s Korman Quad Sunday, Drexel President John Fry said in a statement, adding that the university was speaking with rioters—most of whom he said were not affiliated with the school—in an effort to end the standoff.

“This demonstration already has proved intolerably disruptive to normal University operations and has raised serious concerns about the conduct of some participants, including distressing reports and images of protesters subjecting passersby to anti-Semitic speech, signs and chants,” Fry said, declaring that “this encampment must end.”

He said the school was communicating with local officials and Philadelphia police to ensure campus safety “and the continued operations of our academic and research endeavors.”

The encampment at Drexel, which has about 22,000 students, was set up after several hundred rioters marched from Philadelphia’s City Hall to west Philadelphia on Saturday. About a dozen tents remained Sunday, blocked off by barricades and monitored by police officers. No arrests were reported. University buildings were open only to those with clearance from security officers.

On Friday night, members of Penn Students Against the Occupation of Palestine had announced an action at the University of Pennsylvania’s Fisher–Bennett Hall, urging supporters to bring “flags, pots, pans, noise-makers, megaphones” and other items.

The university said campus police, supported by city police, removed the activists Friday night, arresting 19 people, including six University of Pennsylvania students. The university’s division of public safety said officials found “lock-picking tools and homemade metal shields,” and exit doors secured with zip ties and barbed wire, windows covered with newspaper and cardboard and entrances blocked.

Authorities said seven people arrested would face felony charges, including one accused of having assaulted an officer, while a dozen were issued citations for failing to disperse and follow police commands.

The attempted occupation of the building came a week after city and campus police broke up a two-week encampment on the campus, arresting 33 people, nine of whom were students and two dozen of whom had “no Penn affiliation,” according to university officials.

On Sunday, dozens of George Washington University graduates walked out of commencement ceremonies, disrupting university President Ellen Granberg’s speech, in protest over the ongoing siege of Gaza and last week’s clearing of an on-campus protest encampment that involved police use of pepper spray and dozens of arrests.

The ceremony, at the base of the Washington Monument, started peacefully with fewer than 100 protesters demonstrating across the street in front of the Museum of African American History and Culture.

But as Granberg began speaking, at least 70 students among the graduates started chanting and raising signs and Palestinian flags. The students then noisily walked out as Granberg spoke, crossing the street to a rapturous response from the protesters.

Students and others have set up tent encampments on campuses around the country to protest the Israel–Hamas war, pressing colleges to cut financial ties with Israel. Tensions over the war have been high on campuses since the fall, but demonstrations spread quickly following an April 18 police crackdown on an encampment at Columbia University.

The escalation is likely part of a coordinated operation to increase pressure as Israel winds down its warfare, with the activists transitioning from a protest over the Middle East to one that focuses on fomenting discord and anarchy in America leading up to the November election.

That may mean the organizers use another catalyzing “crisis” event to reignite tensions, as happened in 2020 with the death of George Floyd over the Memorial Day weekend.

Nearly 3,000 people have been arrested on U.S. campuses over the past month. As summer break approaches, there have been fewer new arrests and campuses have been calmer. Still, colleges have been vigilant for disruptions to commencement ceremonies.

President Joe Biden told the graduating class at Morehouse College on Sunday—which included some students wearing keffiyeh scarves around their shoulders on top of their black graduation robes—that he heard their voices of protest and that scenes from the conflict in Gaza have been heartbreaking.

He said given what he called a “humanitarian crisis” there, he had called for “an immediate cease-fire” and return of hostages taken by Hamas.

Many of the graduating students, however, turned their backs on the president and dismissed his used of their graduation ceremony for political pandering.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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