Pro-Palestinian protests continue on college campuses across America

4:15 pm ET, April 26, 2024

UT Austin Places Palestine Solidarity Committee on “Interim Suspension.”

From CNN's Ashley Gillow

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators clashed with Texas Department of Public Safety officials at the University of Texas at Austin on Wednesday, April 24.

Jordan Wonderhaar/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The University of Texas at Austin has placed the Palestine Solidarity Committee on “interim suspension,” according to university spokesman Brian Davis.

“To be clear, the group is on interim suspension. The individuals are not. The length of the suspension is determined by the Dean of Students' Office,” Davis said in a statement.

The group that organized Wednesday's event, which was met with a large police presence, released a statement on Instagram Friday calling the suspension “an attack on freedom of speech to deflect and enable Israel's genocidal campaign against the Palestinian people!”

CNN clarifies what the interim suspension is for the team. The PSC plans to hold a vigil next Monday, but it is unclear if it will go ahead. CNN has reached out to members of the board about the suspension.

The university is standing by its decision to bring in law enforcement to prevent Wednesday's rally from moving forward, resulting in more than 50 arrests and several clashes between police and students. The Office of the Dean of Students issued a letter to the PSC on Tuesday, warning that the event was not authorized and that the group would face disciplinary action, including suspension, if it continued.

Terms such as “occupying turf” were used in the group Advertisement posts For Wednesday's event, PSC members told CNN they never intended to set up camps on the lawn or stay overnight. Schedule For an event that includes study breaks and tutorials.

On Thursday, the university's president, Jay Hartzell, issued a statement saying the school tried to shut down the event because “we had credible indications that the organizers of the event, national or local, were trying to follow the pattern we see elsewhere using the apparatus. Free speech and expression has been a long-standing threat to a campus.” severely disruptive.”

Hartzell also noted that 26 of the 55 people arrested were people with no connection to the university.

Hartzell said 13 pro-Palestinian events have taken place in recent months without incident, including another on the university campus Thursday afternoon.

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