ASU Gaza Camp cleared, 69 arrests made, most not students or faculty: officials

Apr 27, 2024 | Political News

On Saturday, 69 people were arrested at the Arizona State University trying to establish a Gaza Camp to demand the university divest itself from Israeli companies. 

An official with the university told 12 News, that most of the individuals that were attempting to set up the encampment were not part of ASU's student body, nor were they faculty. 

ASU began clearing the tents around midnight, and by 1:45 AM the last of the group had left. Three of the protesters arrested and charged with criminal trespassing were Michael Clancy, 20, Harry Smith, 19, and William Whitmire, 59. 

From left to right: Harry Smith, 19, Michael Clancy, 20, and William Whitmire, 59

According to AZ Family, the first two pictured are current students at ASU. 

A video from the protest, which began Friday evening, showed people fainting or pretending to faint as police moved in to break up the occupation. The Post Millennial senior editor Andy Ngo noted that this was a common tactic in 2020, where “rioters often faked injuries, pain, or breathing issues to escape arrest.” 

In a statement, ASU said, “Arizona State University Police arrested individuals for setting up an unauthorized encampment, in violation of university policy and the ABOR Student Code of Conduct.” It continued, “Encampments and unlawful assembly are prohibited on Arizona State University property unless they are part of a university-sanctioned activity. Individuals found setting up unapproved encampments will be directed to dismantle them immediately and failure to comply may result in arrest. ASU is committed to maintaining a secure environment for everyone.” 

In an earlier statement, the university promoted free speech but said that demonstrations “cannot disrupt university operations. ASU is committed to maintaining a secure environment for everyone.” 

The protest at ASU comes after several other encampments were erected at universities across the country, starting with Columbia. Protesters have demanded that the universities divest themselves from any organization that supports Israel. Some of those present called for ASU president Michael Crow to step down as well.