90 Arrested at Pro-Palestinian Protests at Dartmouth College as Tensions Rise

Pro-Palestinian protesters at Dartmouth College faced mass arrests after refusing to disperse from an unauthorized encampment, sparking debate over free speech and campus policies.

Nimrah Khatoon
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90 Arrested at Pro-Palestinian Protests at Dartmouth College

90 Arrested at Pro-Palestinian Protests at Dartmouth College

On Wednesday late evening, around 300 pro-Palestinian protesters gathered on Dartmouth Green at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. About 100 of them formed a tight circle around a small encampment of four tents. Dartmouth safety and security told the protesters they were in violation of campus policy and warned them that they had 10 minutes to leave or face arrest. When the protesters refused to disperse, state troopers and local police officers began arresting them for criminal trespass and resisting arrest.

At least 90 protesters were arrested, including a Dartmouth history professor who was thrown to the ground and arrested after yelling at the troopers and resisting. The college had previously warned students that participating in the encampment could result in expulsion for violating the school's policies on the use of the Green and overnight use of campus grounds. The ACLU of New Hampshire condemned the arrests, stating that "the use of police force against protesters should never be a first resort" and that "freedom of speech and the right to demonstrate are foundational principles of democracy."

Why this matters: The arrests at Dartmouth are part of a larger wave of pro-Palestinian demonstrations that have disrupted university campuses across the United States in recent days, with hundreds of protesters being arrested at various campuses. The protests have led to calls for the replacement of "weak and ineffective leadership" at colleges and universities.

The Dartmouth encampment followed a planned "Labor for Liberation Celebration" earlier in the day. Dozens of New Hampshire State Police officers, bearing riot gear, threatened students gathered on the Dartmouth Green with arrest on Wednesday night as they set up the encampment protesting Israel's war in Gaza. A state police spokesperson said their officers are committed to protecting the constitutional rights of Granite Staters while also ensuring those who violate the law are held accountable. Dartmouth said it remains committed to dialogue and open engagement on difficult topics, while also noting that it may place limitations on the time, place, and manner of any protest or demonstration if it interferes with the core educational or administrative functions of the institution.

Key Takeaways

  • 300 pro-Palestinian protesters gathered at Dartmouth College, set up encampment.
  • Dartmouth warned protesters they'd be arrested if they didn't leave in 10 mins.
  • Over 90 protesters arrested, including a Dartmouth professor, for trespass and resisting.
  • ACLU condemned arrests, saying free speech and protest are democratic rights.
  • Protests part of wider wave disrupting US campuses, leading to calls for leadership change.