36 arrested as cops break up Ohio State University Gaza Camp

Apr 26, 2024 | Political News

On Thursday evening, police moved in to break up an anti-Israel demonstration at Ohio State University and arrested 36 people. They had warned if students and others did not leave, they would be arrested for trespassing, in accordance with the school's policy on overnight gatherings. 

Despite numerous calls to leave, most of the protestors stayed put, leaving law enforcement with no choice but to start hauling them out one by one. In the end, three dozen were taken into custody. 

According to the Columbus Dispatch, Thursday's demonstration kicked off around 5pm, and mirrored those which had taken place on campus throughout the week. For hours, students held signs and chanted slogans demanding that OSU divest from Israel and call for a ceasefire. 

In a statement responding to the former demand, OSU spokesperson Ben Johnson cited Ohio Revised Code Section 9.76, which, he explained, “prohibits the university from divesting any interests in Israel and prohibits adopting or adhering to a policy that requires divestment from Israel or with persons or entities associated with it.” 
By 8pm, the chanting had amplified despite warnings from police half an hour earlier that their time was up. Two hours later, after those taking part had still not listened, officers with the local police and Ohio State Highway Patrol moved in and began making arrests en masse.  

“Well established university rules prohibit camping and overnight events,” Johnson said in another statement, per NBC4. “Demonstrators exercised their first amendment rights for several hours and were then instructed to disperse. Individuals who refused to leave after multiple warnings were arrested and charged with criminal trespass.” 

The sight of their fellow protestors being forcibly removed from the scene appeared to convince others it was time to go, and by 11pm the crowds began to disperse.