Emory Professor Arrested as She Screams 'I'm a Professor' Amid Nationwide Campus Unrest Over Gaza

Pro-Palestinian protests at US universities turn chaotic, raising concerns over free speech, safety, and antisemitism amid the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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Nimrah Khatoon
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Emory Professor Arrested, Protester Sparks Outrage Amid Nationwide Campus Unrest Over Gaza

Emory Professor Arrested, Protester Sparks Outrage Amid Nationwide Campus Unrest Over Gaza

On April 26, 2024, Emory University economics professor Caroline Fohlin was forcefully arrested by police during a Gaza solidarity protest on campus, amid clashes involving tear gas and rubber bullets. The incident occurred as part of a broader wave of pro-Palestinian demonstrations at universities across the United States, with students demanding their institutions divest from companies with ties to Israel.

Video footage showed Fohlin being thrown to the ground and handcuffed by police despite identifying herself as a professor. Protest organizers condemned the police actions as police brutality" and "an act of terrorism." Emory University and the Atlanta Police Department defended their response, stating the protesters were disrupting the campus as students prepared for final exams.

Meanwhile, at George Washington University, a protester sparked outrage by carrying a sign referencing "the final solution," a chilling reference to the Nazi genocide of Jews during the Holocaust. The university stated that non-students had joined the protest and that they were working with police to ensure campus safety.

Why this matters: The incidents highlight the escalating tensions and unrest on college campuses nationwide over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The forceful police response to protests and the antisemitic sign at GWU raise concerns about the balance between free speech, safety, and the role of universities in political activism.

Protests and encampments have cropped up at dozens of universities, including Columbia, USC, Ohio State, Minnesota, Indiana, and Princeton, often turning chaotic as police arrived to disperse crowds and make arrests. Over 100 people were arrested at Columbia after the administration called in police to clear out a pro-Palestinian encampment. USC's commencement ceremony was canceled due to safety concerns.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has condemned the crackdown on free speech, while critics have accused universities of being slow to respond to the harassment of Jewish students. Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff has spoken with Jewish leaders, condemning antisemitism and calls for violence against Jews amid the ongoing protests. The issue is expected to remain a top priority as lawmakers return to Capitol Hill next week, with a House GOP-led hearing set for May 8 to examine antisemitism in the education system.

Key Takeaways

  • Emory professor arrested during pro-Palestinian protest on campus
  • GWU protester carried sign referencing Nazi "final solution"
  • Protests and encampments at dozens of universities, police response
  • CAIR condemns crackdown on free speech, critics accuse universities
  • House GOP-led hearing on May 8 to examine antisemitism in education