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Pro-Palestinian protesters take over UT campus

Following more than a dozen other universities, students at the University of Texas at Austin have begun protesting and attempting to set up encampments on campus in support of Gaza during the Israel-Hamas war.

The university said the protest was not authorized, sending a letter to the Palestine Solidarity Committee, who planned the protest. The letter said those who participate can expect disciplinary actions, including suspension under the university’s rules. 

“Simply put, The University of Texas at Austin will not allow this campus to be ‘taken’ and protesters to derail our mission in ways that groups affiliated with your national organization have accomplished elsewhere,” the letter from the Office of the Dean of Students said. 

“Please be advised that you are not permitted to hold your event on the University campus. Any attempt to do so will subject your organization and its attending members to discipline including suspension under the Institutional Rules,” the letter continued.

Students attempted to set up “The Popular University” in order to “divest from death.”

In an Instagram post promoting the protest, the Palestine Solidarity Committee said they are following “in the footsteps of our comrades” at other universities, which have seen similar protests in recent days. 

The UT Division of Student Affairs sent a letter with similar sentiments. They noted the end of the semester approaching with students needing to focus on studying for final exams.

“UT Austin does not tolerate disruptions of campus activities or operations like we have seen at other campuses. This is an important time in our semester with students finishing classes and studying for finals and we will act first and foremost to allow those critical functions to proceed without interruption,” the letter said.

Texas state troopers began arresting protesters around 1 p.m., according to the Daily Texan. 

UT students plan to occupy a part of campus for the remainder of the day.

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