May 25, 2024

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Pro-Gaza occupations at universities may abate, but experts expect a summer marked by protests

Pro-Gaza occupations at universities may abate, but experts expect a summer marked by protests

About a dozen students detained by police during a demonstration on a Denver college campus walked out amid cheers from pro-Palestinian protesters, waving several yellow court summonses like small victory flags and imploring fellow protesters not to let their energy die.

How resilient student demonstrations against the war in Gaza will be at dozens of universities in Denver and across the U.S. is a key question for protesters, school administrators and police, as graduations, summer vacations approach, and critical. Camps were dismantled.

Student protesters have vowed to continue until administrators meet their demands, including a permanent cease-fire in Gaza, for universities to stop investing in arms suppliers and other companies profiting from the war, and discipline or amnesty for fired students and faculty. for protesting.

Academics who study the history of protest movements and civil disobedience say it’s difficult to maintain the energy of people power on campus if most people leave. But they point out that campus demonstrations are just one tactic in the decades-old pro-Palestinian movement, and that the energy that began on campuses this summer will provide more opportunities to migrate to the streets.

Evolve or disappear

Dana Fisher is a professor at American University in Washington and author of several books on activism and grassroots movements.

He noted that after the police were called to the Columbia University campus on April 18 when more than 100 people were arrested, the campus movement spread organically across the country. Since those arrests, at least 2,600 protesters have been detained at more than 100 protests in 39 states and Washington, according to The Appeal, a nonprofit news agency.

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