State police arrest 25 protestors at University of Virginia

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State police officers arrested around 25 pro-Palestine protestors at the University of Virginia (UVa.) on Saturday. 

Saturday was the fifth day of the ongoing protests in Charlottesville, Va., where calls for the school to divest from Israel continued.

A group called UVA Encampment for Gaza called for the school to disclose all investments and refrain from using its endowment to invest in institutions connected to Israel. 

Tents were set up on Friday, which, along with megaphone use, were in violation of the institution’s policy. They were not cleared on Friday since, according to the school, children were in the area, rain was pouring and the protestors were “peaceful.” They were then cleared on Saturday.  

Police officers equipped with riot gear confronted the protestors Saturday afternoon. 

Jim Ryan, UVA’s president, said the school supports free speech, but the institution has to enforce its policies to make sure expression does not “interfere with the rights of others.” 

“Unfortunately, a small group today made a choice to willingly break the rules after being given many opportunities to comply, and they then refused to leave the site voluntarily,” Ryan said in a statement on Saturday. 

Those who were arrested were taken to Albemarle County Regional Jail, according to multiple media reports.

The school said it is still waiting for an answer regarding how many protestors were affiliated with the institution. 

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