18 students arrested at Brown University while protesting war in Gaza: Jews for Ceasefire Now stages sit-in at president’s office as pro-Palestine demonstrations sweep US college campuses
Police arrested at least 18 Brown University students who staged a sit-in protest at the school president’s office demanding the institution divest from companies profiting from Israel’s war.
The students were arrested Wednesday evening for entering the school’s main building, University Hall, Brown University said in a statement.
Video showed handcuffed students being led to Providence Police transport vans as dozens of protesters outside the building chanted in support of the group.
“Brown issued multiple trespass warnings and ultimately proceeded to arrest 18 individuals for refusing to leave a campus building where their after-hours presence posed safety risks,” the university said.
The group, BrownU Jews for now ceasefiresaid 20 students were arrested during the rally for calling on their school to promote a ceasefire in Israel’s Hamas war.
18 protesters from BrownU Jews for Ceasefire Now were arrested for trespassing on Wednesday evening
Brown University said the students were arrested by public safety on campus and transported by Providence police
After the group was asked to leave the building, they called on other students to gather outside the building and support them
“We will not leave University Hall until President Christina Paxson publicly commits to including and supporting a divestiture resolution at the next meeting of the Brown Corporation,” BrownU Jews for Ceasefire Now said in a statement.
About 20 students entered the building around 12:15 p.m. and were allowed to stay until 5 p.m., according to the university.
The group posted photos on Instagram of its members holding signs that read “Not in our name,” “Ceasefire now” and “Divest now.”
BrownU Jews for Ceasefire Now asked people to gather outside the University Building at 4:30 p.m. in support of the students inside.
The university issued violation warnings about 5:25 p.m. and said after repeated warnings it was moving forward with arrests.
After being asked to leave the building, the group posted a photo of students sitting in a circle, holding hands, with the caption: “So we stay, sing and keep calling for a ceasefire NOW!”
The group told it 12 News they stayed in Paxson’s office until it closed at 5 p.m., then received a half-hour extension from Brown police.
‘University staff made every effort to ensure that students fully understood that for security reasons they were not permitted to remain in the building outside normal opening hours and that they could face disciplinary action up to and including separation from the University for violating policy,” Bruin said.
The university noted that the area where the students were located is a hallway that the fire code requires to be kept clear for entry, and the students were warned that they would be arrested multiple times.
Brown’s Department of Public Safety processed and arrested the students before transporting them to the Providence Police Department.
“We call on our Jewish communities to not only mourn ourselves, but also take action to protect the citizens of Gaza who are bombed in their homes every day,” Ariela Rosenzweig, a student who was arrested, said in a statement..
‘We’ll sit in the University Hall until Brown and Christina Paxson is adding to the global call for a ceasefire by committing to divestment now.”
Lily Gardner, an arrested student, said: “As Jewish students mourn friends and loved ones, both Israeli and Palestinian, we are fed up with our university using us as justification to maintain financial support for an apartheid state.”
“We are tired of pretending that our academic and personal lives should continue as normal.”
The school said it has met with groups of students to hear their concerns about the war.
About 20 students entered University Hall around 12:15 p.m. to call on Brown President Christina Paxson to agree to divest companies that profited from the war
The university issued violation notices at about 5:25 p.m. and said after repeated warnings it was moving forward with arrests
‘Recent events in Israel and Gaza bring deeply held and often contradictory views to the fore. At Brown, we recognize our responsibility to be an educational institution that manages challenging discussions in a manner that remains true to the fundamental principle of freedom of expression while emphasizing the importance of safety for all community members,” said Brown.
“Our focus remains on providing care and empathy, and supporting the safety of our students, faculty and staff who are Israeli, Palestinian, Muslim, Jewish, have ties to the region and feel affected by current events.”