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UT Austin students attacked by police at Palestine encampment

By staff

Students face off with riot police in Austin, Texas. | Fight Back! News/staff

Austin, TX – On Monday, April 28, around 1 p.m., University of Texas at Austin students and community members gathered on the UT South Lawn to set up a Popular University encampment. A group of around 40 people was quickly joined by hundreds more supporting students, as booming chants of, “Free free Palestine,” echoed throughout UT’s South Mall.

Shortly after the encampment went up, UT police, Austin police and Texas State Troopers wearing riot gear arrived, assaulted and arrested at least 80 protesters. During the attack on the encampment, police used pepper spray and flash bangs on students, threw a disabled person out of a wheelchair, and dragged students on the ground by their legs.

Despite the police violence, students bravely fought back, and the crowd surrounded the police in an effort to stop them from making more arrests. After hours of heated struggle, the massive crowd eventually marched down 22nd Street, pushing the police to retreat off the street.

Hundreds more Austinites arrived to campus to support the now torn-down student encampment, many holding umbrellas to block pepper spray and bringing supplies like food, water and first aid equipment. 

As soon as protesters were hauled to Travis County Jail, over 50 people arrived with drums and megaphones out front to demand the release of all those arrested. Police purposely delayed booking and processing the arrestees, and they are still holding at least 40 of the protesters in jail as of 5:30 a.m. this morning, May 1. Students and community have continued to rally outside the jail for over 36 hours and counting in spite of this repression.

Jules Lattimore, a Students for a Democratic Society member who was at the jail support rally said, “We will not stop fighting, no matter what UT administration or Texas does. We demand divestment, we demand the coward President Jay Hartzell resigns, we demand everyone jailed is immediately freed, and we demand Greg Abbott’s police thugs off our campus. When we fight, we win!”

#AustinTX #StudentMovement #SDS #AntiWarMovement #International #MiddleEast #Palestine #Occupy4Gaza