Home News Police Seize Gaza Protesters at UT Austin as Prez Faces No-Confidence Vote

Police Seize Gaza Protesters at UT Austin as Prez Faces No-Confidence Vote

Police Seize Gaza Protesters at UT Austin as Prez Faces No-Confidence Vote

More arrests are underway at the University of Texas at Austin, where state troopers, city police, and university officers seized several nonviolent protesters from the school’s “Gaza solidarity encampment” on Monday.

One video from the scene showed state troopers in riot gear closing in on the protesters, who had locked arms and sat close together on the grass.

“You failed Uvalde!” protesters shouted at the officers, a criticism meant to highlight the difference between the Texas Department of Public Safety’s inaction at the 2022 elementary school shooting and the use of force on unarmed protesters.

“There is no riot here, why are you in riot gear!” they chanted.

In another video from the scene, university police officers could be seen dragging a protester by the feet in an attempt to break up the circle, with several officers seen tackling and restraining other protesters in the background.

In a statement, the university said protesters had ignored dispersal orders from the administration and law enforcement and resisted authorities’ attempts to remove their tents. In response, a combined force of campus police, Austin police, and state troopers “dismantled an encampment and arrested several protesters,” the majority of whom the university believed to be unaffiliated with the school.

Even as the arrests continued, hundreds of faculty signed onto an open letter expressing no confidence in the university’s president, Jay Hartzell.

“The President has shown himself to be unresponsive to urgent faculty, staff, and student concerns. He has violated our trust. The University is no longer a safe and welcoming place for the diverse community of students and scholars who until now have called this campus home,” the faculty open letter reads.

Hartzell first facilitated the violent arrests of protesters on April 24. A total of 57 people were arrested and charged with criminal trespassing last week, but all of the charges were eventually dropped by the Travis County Attorney, Delia Garza, who cited inadequate probable cause affidavits.

It was not immediately clear how many protesters had been arrested on Monday.

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