update deskSchools & Higher Education

‘Antisemitism will not be tolerated in Texas. Period,’ governor says

“These protesters belong in jail,” said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. “Students joining in hate-filled, antisemitic protests at any public college or university in Texas should be expelled.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks during CPAC Texas 2022 conference at Hilton Anatole on Aug. 4, 2022. Credit: Lev Radin/Shutterstock.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks during CPAC Texas 2022 conference at Hilton Anatole on Aug. 4, 2022. Credit: Lev Radin/Shutterstock.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott wrote on Wednesday about arrests that state troopers and riot police made of anti-Israel protesters at the University of Texas at Austin, one of the largest and top-ranked public universities in the country.

“Arrests being made right now and will continue until the crowd disperses. These protesters belong in jail,” the Republican governor wrote. “Antisemitism will not be tolerated in Texas. Period.”

“Students joining in hate-filled, antisemitic protests at any public college or university in Texas should be expelled,” Abbott added.

As of 9 p.m. local time on Wednesday, 34 protesters had been arrested, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. According to the department, the arrests were for “criminal activity, including criminal trespass.”

The Dallas Morning News reported that at least 54 people had been arrested.

“Today, our university held firm, enforcing our rules while protecting the constitutional right to free speech. Peaceful protests within our rules are acceptable. Breaking our rules and policies and disrupting others’ ability to learn are not allowed,” wrote Jay Hartzell, president of UT Austin.

“The group that led this protest stated it was going to violate institutional rules. Our rules matter, and they will be enforced. Our university will not be occupied,” Hartzell added. “The protesters tried to deliver on their stated intent to occupy campus. People not affiliated with UT joined them, and many ignored university officials’ continual pleas for restraint and to immediately disperse.”

“The university did as we said we would do in the face of prohibited actions. We were prepared, with the necessary support to maintain campus operations and ensure the safety, well-being and learning environment for our more than 50,000 students,” Hartzell said.

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