Ohio State University sees Israeli Hamas war protests over Palestine


Several student and community groups are planning a demonstration at Ohio State University on Wednesday evening to protest the ongoing Israel-Hamas war in Gaza and call on the university to withdraw financially from Israel.

The protest is scheduled to take place at 6 p.m. on the South Oval, the same site as last week's anti-Israel protest that ended with nearly 40 arrests of Ohio State students and community members.

Ohio State closes buildings around oval in anticipation of protests

In anticipation of the protests, Dan Hedman, spokesman for the Office of Management and Planning, sent an email to residents of select university buildings around the Oval saying access to the buildings would be restricted on Wednesday. The buildings are locked and only accessible to staff via Buck ID access.

“We are taking this action out of an abundance of caution to increase security and ensure that university operations continue uninterrupted,” the email said.

How many people were arrested in the Ohio State protests?

Wednesday's demonstrations follow a week of protests and arrests on campus.

Last Tuesday, two Ohio State students were arrested during a peaceful protest on campus. The next day, three more people were arrested on campus after students attempted to set up an encampment on the South Oval. Then, on Thursday evening, 36 people were arrested — 16 people affiliated with OSU and 20 people nonaffiliated with OSU — after nearly six hours of chanting, prayer and setting up tents.

Ohio State President Ted Carter said in a stern email Monday afternoon that the university “will not be overwhelmed by protests like other campuses across the country.”

“As a public university, demonstrations, protests and dissent occur regularly on our campus – so much so that we have trained on-site staff and public safety professionals for student demonstrations to ensure safety and support everyone’s right to participate to participate in these activities,” Carter said.

“Unfortunately, in recent days, I have observed encampments on other campuses across our country creating significant security issues,” he continued. “These situations have resulted in the cancellation of in-person learning and commencement ceremonies. The Ohio State campus will not be overtaken in this way.”

Ohio State concluded the academic year on Tuesday with the end of spring semester exam week. Kickoff is scheduled for Sunday at Ohio Stadium.

Ohio State and other campuses protest the war in Gaza

Since the October 7 attack last year, college students from coast to coast have called for a ceasefire in Gaza and called for their schools to withdraw from Israel. But tensions worsened over the course of two weeks after more than a hundred students were arrested at Columbia University.

Camps on college campuses have become a visible symbol of a student movement that has spread nationwide, from elite universities like Harvard University to OSU-like public schools like the University of Texas at Austin.

Protests on campus: Violence erupts at UCLA protest; Police called in riot gear: live updates

Police in riot gear stormed the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles, early Wednesday, hours after New York police retook control of an administration building at Columbia University, as resistance to Israel's war in Gaza continued to rumble on campuses across the country , USA Today reported.

In Ohio, Case Western Reserve University police arrested 22 demonstrators supporting Palestine during demonstrations earlier this week. Students and faculty at Denison University in Granville protested Tuesday, calling on the university to divest.

This is a developing story. This article will be updated throughout the day.

Anna Harden

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