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4 pro-Palestinian protesters arrested after demonstrating outside Yale president's house

Earlier this week, a Yale protester held a model of a bomb after police tore down a second encampment on campus.
Ryan Caron King
/
Connecticut Public
Earlier this week, a Yale protester held a model of a bomb after police tore down a second encampment on campus.

Pro-Palestinian demonstrations continued Wednesday night at Yale University.

Scores of students gathered at Beinecke Plaza and then marched to the front of the house of Yale president Peter Salovey. Protesters also marched to the Yale police department.

Four demonstrators were arrested, the university said. Two are Yale students and two are not, officials said. They were charged with criminal trespass and disorderly conduct; one was also charged with interfering with a police officer.

Videos posted on social media appeared to show at least one protester being forcibly held on the ground by police.

Organizers said they were following a dispersal order when the arrests took place, according to the Yale Daily News.

Protest organizers released a statement saying that Yale police shoved and grabbed protesters.

"We are appalled by the behavior of the Yale Police Department and the use of excessive force," the statement said. "This escalation of police violence and brutality toward students and community members during protests is unprecedented in recent years."

The university said it "fully supports" peaceful protests and freedom of speech, but does not tolerate policies being violated.

"The group refused to disperse after repeated warnings from the Yale Police Department that they were violating university policies by occupying parts of campus without permission," the university statement said.

Wednesday's developments follow various protests that have happened on and off campus at Yale, as well as other Connecticut colleges, including UConn and Wesleyan University. Protests have been happening at colleges across the U.S. Protesters are calling on colleges to divest from companies they say are playing a role in the Israel-Hamas war.

At Yale, students are preparing for finals while processing their feelings on the demonstrations.

Freshman Zachary Suri saw the first protests against the war on campus in late October.

He says he feels pressure to renounce his support for Israel, which has led to tense interactions with classmates.

“If you're a Jewish student, like myself, unless you're willing to denounce everything that has to do with Zionists from the state of Israel, you're not sort of accepting the movement,” Suri said.

Lyle Griggs sits by Alexander Walk near Beinecke Plaza, finishing up lunch on May 2, 2024. Griggs, a history major supports the protests and rebuffed accusations the demonstrations are antisemitic pointing out many of the organizers are practicing Jews. May 2, 2024
Eddy Martinez
/
Connecticut Public
Lyle Griggs sits by Alexander Walk near Beinecke Plaza, finishing up lunch on May 2, 2024. Griggs, a history major supports the protests and rebuffed accusations the demonstrations are antisemitic pointing out many of the organizers are practicing Jews. May 2, 2024

Lyle Griggs, who identifies as a political moderate, has attended some of the protests on campus. He says accusations the protests are antisemitic are not true.

“The people I knew who were most passionate about this and involved in organizing this movement on campus, are committed, practicing Jews," Griggs said. "I know that people have accused organizers of tokenism for mentioning that. But these are the people, from my perspective, who have been largely leading this movement.”

Over the last two weeks, more than 2,000 protesters have been arrested at dozens of college campuses across the U.S., the Associated Press reports. Last week, about 45 Yale students were arrested at a protest.

Elsewhere, an encampment at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire was dismantled by police late Wednesday.

The Associated Press and Connecticut Public's Eric Aasen contributed to this report, which has been updated.