Trump says pro-Palestine student protests more hateful than Charlottesville


Published: 2024-04-26 11:28

Last Updated: 2024-06-15 15:19

Former US President Donald J. Trump
Former US President Donald J. Trump

Former United States President Donald Trump condemned pro-Palestinian protests sweeping through US colleges, saying that the level of "hate" on display was far worse than during the infamous right-wing rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017.

"Charlottesville was a little peanut, and it was nothing compared - and the hate wasn't the kind of hate that you have here, this is tremendous hate," Trump said to reporters outside the courtroom where stands trial on charges of falsifying business records.

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Joe Biden's reelection campaign, in response to Trump’s comments posted a video from the Charlottesville rally, showing torch-wielding "neo-Nazis and KKK members" chanting "Jews will not replace us!"

The “Unite the Right” rally culminated in a white supremacist driving a car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one woman and injuring 19 other people.

Trump, at the time, took 48 hours to respond to the violence, and then said there were "very fine people on both sides" of the protests, which drew widespread criticism.

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Mass chaos has been unfolding across several college campuses in the United States as protests supporting Palestine intensified, with some demonstrations leading to confrontations and arrests, according to Associated Press.

- University of Southern California -

At the University of Southern California (USC), police arrested student protesters in a peaceful manner on Wednesday evening, contrasting sharply with earlier clashes at the University of Texas at Austin, local reports said.

In California, tensions between police and protesters at USC had escalated earlier in the day, but arrests were made peacefully as a group of demonstrators, standing in a circle with locked arms, were detained one by one without any incidents. Helicopters hovered overhead as hundreds of onlookers watched, and the school closed the campus for safety.

- University of Texas at Austin -

Meanwhile, at the University of Texas at Austin, the situation took a more aggressive turn as police, including some on horseback, confronted protesters. Videos showed officers pushing into the crowd, resulting in some protesters falling into the street. The university, backed by Texas Governor Gregg Abbott, made 34 arrests, according to state authorities.

A photographer covering the protests was forcefully pulled to the ground by an officer, and a veteran journalist was injured in the commotion. One student described the police response as an overreaction, suggesting that the protests would have remained peaceful otherwise.

After hours of attempts to control the situation, police eventually left, allowing around 300 demonstrators to return and continue their protest on the university grounds.

University President Jay Hartzell emphasized the importance of enforcing campus rules, stating, "Our University will not be occupied."

- California State Polytechnic University -

Further north, at California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt, students barricaded themselves inside a building for the third consecutive day, prompting the school to switch to virtual classes and close the campus.

- Harvard University-

At Harvard University, pro-Palestinian protesters set up camp after the university restricted access to Harvard Yard, the oldest part of the campus. The demonstrations followed the university's suspension of the Harvard Undergraduate Palestine Solidarity Committee.

These protests are part of a broader movement demanding universities to cut financial ties with Israeli Occupation and divest from companies supporting its military activities. Some Jewish students have raised concerns about anti-Semitism on campuses, prompting universities to respond with increased security measures.

- Other universities -

Several other universities experienced protests including New York University, Yale University, and Columbia University, where students booed US House Speaker Mike Johnson during his visit on Wednesday. Johnson called on the university president to resign if order could not be restored, hinting at the possibility of National Guard intervention.

Despite the tensions, Columbia University extended negotiations with protesters for an additional 48 hours, seeking to resolve the situation peacefully. Similar protests and arrests have occurred at universities nationwide, with students and faculty calling for an end to charges against protesters and greater transparency from university administrations.

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