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Police again detain pro-Palestinian protesters setting up camp at UT Austin

Law enforcement stand on guard on the lawn after pushing protesters out.
Michael Minasi
KUT News
Law enforcement stand on guard on the lawn after pushing protesters out.

After an attempt to "occupy" UT Austin's campus last week led to 57 arrests, a group of demonstrators once again set up an encampment on the south lawn by the UT Tower. Police have begun detaining people to clear the lawn.

Around 100 protesters gathered around midday Monday with tents and blankets. They held signs that said, "Divest from genocide," "UT supports war crimes" and "Free Palestine."

Like Wednesday's protest, officers from the UT Police, Austin Police Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety came to the scene. The state troopers — who carried batons, face shields and zip ties — stood arm and arm to create a physical barrier between the tower and the lawn. As at least two dozen officers gathered at the mall, protesters chanted, "Off our campus."

Near the start of Monday's protest, UT Police issued two orders to disperse, accusing protesters of disorderly conduct and trespassing, and threatening arrest.

The demonstration comes just a few days after police arrested 57 people during a pro-Palestinian protest. Wednesday's protest, organized by the student organization Palestine Solidarity Committee in Austin, called for a ceasefire in Gaza and for UT to divest from weapons manufacturers that provide supplies to Israel. Those arrested were charged with criminal trespassing, but the charges were dismissed.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Copyright 2024 KUT News. To see more, visit KUT News.

Chelsey Zhu
Audrey McGlinchy is the City Hall reporter at KUT, covering the Austin City Council and the policies they discuss. She comes to Texas from Brooklyn, where she tried her hand at publishing, public relations and nannying. Audrey holds English and journalism degrees from Wesleyan University and the City University of New York. She got her start in journalism as an intern at KUT Radio during a summer break from graduate school. While completing her master's degree in New York City, she interned at the New York Times Magazine and Guernica Magazine.