U.S.

Campus Protests Over Gaza Intensify Amid Pushback by Universities and Police

A wave of pro-Palestinian protests spread and intensified on Wednesday as students gathered on campuses around the country, in some cases facing off with the police, in a widening showdown over campus speech and the war in Gaza.

University administrators from Texas to California moved to clear protesters and prevent encampments from taking hold on their own campuses as they have at Columbia University, deploying police in tense new confrontations that already have led to dozens of arrests.

At the same time, new protests continued erupting in places like Pittsburgh and San Antonio. Students expressed solidarity with their fellow students at Columbia, and with a pro-Palestinian movement that appeared to be galvanized by the pushback on other campuses and the looming end of the academic year.

Protesters on several campuses said their demands included divestment by their universities from companies connected to the Israeli military campaign in Gaza, disclosure of those and other investments and a recognition of the continuing right to protest without punishment.

The demonstrations spread overseas as well, with students on campuses in Cairo, Paris and Sydney, Australia, gathering to voice support for Palestinians and opposition to the war.

As new protests were emerging, the speaker of the House of Representatives, Mike Johnson, visited the Columbia campus in New York, where university officials were seeking to negotiate with protest leaders to end the encampment of around 80 tents still pitched on a central campus lawn.

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