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Police arrest pro-Palestine protesters on University of Georgia campus

University of Georgia police and Georgia State Patrol troopers Monday morning arrested over a dozen demonstrators during a pro-Palestine protest on campus.

The protesters, part of the Students for Justice of Palestine, set up an encampment on the Old College Front Lawn of UGA’s North Campus at around 7 a.m.

According to a statement from the group, they set up the camp to "demand university solidarity, protection, and the disclosure and divestment of financial relationships with zionist organizations.

"Our universities have chosen profit over the lives of the Palestinian people and the overwhelming force of student opinion. Our administrators are more concerned with maintaining their prestigious reputations than the Israeli occupation’s ongoing slaughter of Palestinians," the group said.

Around two dozen protesters were part of the encampment and refused to follow orders from campus police to remove their tents and leave the area.

About 15 people were arrested for misdemeanor trespassing.

According to a statement from UGA spokesman Greg Trevor, the protesters "were advised repeatedly, for more than an hour, that the tents and barricades they had put in place had to be removed and that they must comply with applicable policies."

"They were also given the opportunity by Student Affairs personnel to make a reservation and relocate to one of our centrally designated forums, but they refused," Trevor said. "After multiple warnings that they would be arrested for trespass if they did not comply with our policies, at 8:30 a.m., UGA Police were left with no choice but to arrest those who refused to comply."

The school says any students, faculty, or staff members who are arrested could also face disciplinary action.

"Let us make it abundantly clear that while the University of Georgia staunchly supports freedom of expression, we will not cede control of our campus to groups that refuse to abide by University policy and threaten the safety of those who live, work and study here," Trevor said. "The University of Georgia remains an institution where ideas, viewpoints, and scholarship can be openly expressed and debated."

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Thanks for swift action by UGA, set-up camp @ 7 am and arrested @ 8:30 am !! Question now is, will UGA do anything else to them ? If they do it again, expel them. You don't let things get out of hand like Columbia University !

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