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Emory protesters demand free Palestine, police brutalize and arrest

By Taylor Cook

Emory encampment demands divestment from apartheid Israel. | Fight Back! News/staff

Atlanta, GA – On April 25 students at Emory University hosted an encampment at their quad. The encampment followed the recent wave of encampments across the country demanding a free Palestine and university divestment from Israel. Hours after the encampment started, Atlanta Police Department and Georgia State Patrol began brutalizing protesters, shooting pepper balls and arresting them.

More than 20 protesters were arrested and taken to the Dekalb County Jail, which has seen criticism in recent months for its inhumane conditions and treatment of prisoners as well as multiple deaths this year.

18 people were arrested initially, including students, faculty and community members. Police held protesters on the ground in zip ties for several hours while protesters who were not arrested chanted “Protesting is not a crime, free free free Palestine” and “APD, KKK, IDF, you’re all the same.” In this second protest, police brutally arrested more protesters and shot more pepper balls at them.

Three protesters have been released, while the rest of the protesters are currently being held overnight at Dekalb County Jail. There have been reports from those in the jail that they have not been fed or given access to medication. Several protesters also have injuries from handcuffs and from being thrown to the ground by police.

Jaanaki Rabhakrishnan, one of the protesters being held, made this statement, “To all of the comrades and community members out here supporting us and have been throughout the day, we love you all so much. I want everyone to remember what this was about, why we’re out there, to keep all eyes on Palestine, all eyes on Gaza and not let this pull focus away from why we were out there. Keep pressure on Emory, keep pressure on the Atlanta city government. We didn’t take these risks for everyone to forget why we came out here. Give Emory hell. This is a pattern that cannot be allowed to continue. This is all of our freedom at stake.”

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