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DC police clear encampment8k8 com, arrest 33 pro-Palestine demonstrators at GWU

明查|“巴勒斯坦领饭女孩”儿童节当天遇袭身亡? | 8k8 com | Updated: 2024-06-17 06:23:10

George Washington University police officers stand near a pro-Palestinian encampment at George Washington University in Washington, DC, US, on May 2. [Photo/Agencies]

WASHINGTON -- Police in the US capital of Washington, DC made 33 arrests early Wednesday at George Washington University (GWU) as they cleared the tent encampment there set up by pro-Palestinian demonstrators protesting Israel's war effort in Gaza.

DC Metropolitan Police Chief Pamela Smith told a press briefing that 33 arrests were made at the university in the city's downtown for offenses including unlawful entry and assault on a police officer.

Smith confirmed that police used pepper spray when they engaged the protesters outside the encampment, as the protesters tried to break police lines.

According to Smith, protests on GWU campus were peaceful during the initial days after they began on April 25, but were assessed by the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) to have escalated on Thursday following an assault by protesters on a police officer performing her duties.

"On Monday, MPD learned of more indicators that the protest was becoming more volatile and less stable," Smith said, dynamics that led to Smith making preparation for the early morning dispersal on Wednesday.

"We allowed protesters ample time to leave the area," she said. "In total, there were six dispersal announcements before our officers took action."

Smith and DC Mayor Muriel Bowser were originally scheduled to testify at the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability in the afternoon about protests citywide, but the hearing was canceled following the arrests at GWU.

Bowser told reporters at the briefing that she spoke with Committee Chair James Comer earlier in the day, and that the chair "expressed his interest in making sure the city and the chief could focus on this ongoing operation."

"I expect that the hearing will be pulled down," Bowser added.

The protest at GWU is part of the ongoing wave of pro-Palestine protests sweeping college campuses throughout the United States.

Several universities, including Columbia where the protest first erupted, have either canceled or relocated their commencement ceremonies or other graduation events later this month due to the chaos on campus.

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