Report: Campus protests overwhelmingly peaceful

May 13, 2024
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An analysis of 553 campus protests between April 18 and May 3 found that demonstrations related to the war in Gaza have been overwhelmingly peaceful, with little serious violence and limited property damage, according to a report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data (ACLED) Project, a nongovernmental organization.

The report, released Friday, determined that of the 553 protests identified, 97&nbsp:percent remained peaceful. ACLED defines physical violence as anything more than pushing and shoving, and property destruction as “breaking a window or worse,” researchers told The Guardian. The organization highlighted violence between pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel protesters at the University of California, Los Angeles, as a noted exception.

Altogether, ACLED has tracked more than 1,360 protests since Oct. 7, when Hamas attacked Israel. In return, Israel’s military has killed tens of thousands in Gaza, including civilians and aid workers. Of the 1,360 student protests tracked since then, 94&nbsp:percent have been pro-Palestinian. California has seen the greatest number of pro-Palestinian protests since October, while New York has had the most pro-Israel demonstrations; both have remained hotbeds of protest activity since fall.

ACLED pointed to the arrest of more than 100 students at Columbia University in mid-April as an inflection point for protests, with encampments soon emerging on campuses across the nation.

The analysis comes as college presidents struggle to manage protests, leading some to strike deals to end demonstrators while others have used riot police to forcefully clear encampments.



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