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May 1, 2024 – US campus protests

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Approximately 16 people were arrested Wednesday night after a pro-Palestine protest at the University at Buffalo’s North Campus, including students and “other individuals not affiliated with the University at Buffalo,” the school said in a release.

Those people were arrested after being “advised of, and failing to comply, with an order to disperse for a violation of UB’s Picketing and Assembling Policy that prohibits encampments and overnight assemblies,” the release reads.

“While many protesters peacefully left the area after being advised multiple times by UB Police that those remaining at the protest would be arrested if they did not disperse at dusk, unfortunately some individuals elected to ignore the requests of UB Police and were arrested.”

“A few individuals” attempted to resist arrest, and two officers were assaulted, the release reads.

In an earlier release, the university said its chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine originally organized a march at the North Campus on Wednesday. 

Around 50 people, including students and others not affiliated with the university, continued to protest into Wednesday evening, the university said.

Many left the area after warnings from university police to disperse at dusk, but others were arrested outside of Hochstetter Hall, the university said.

“While the decision to arrest individuals occurred after multiple discussions, communications and warnings to protesters, UB Police prioritized the safety and security of the university community by upholding and enforcing all applicable laws, SUNY rules and UB polices.”

The university said it recognizes and respects the right to protest but emphasized that overnight assemblies and indoor and outdoor encampments are prohibited.

“The university recognizes and respects the right to protest afforded under the First Amendment,” the release announcing the arrests reads. “However, those members of the university community and visitors who wish to express their viewpoints through picketing and other forms of demonstration are permitted to peacefully do so but must not violate the provisions of the Rules for the Maintenance of Public Order of the SUNY Board of Trustees and must adhere to UB’s Picketing and Assembling Policy, including the prohibition of overnight assemblies, and indoor and outdoor encampments.”

Five tents were previously placed on campus but were removed by protesters after they were advised by university staff and police.

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