Police Break Up Pro-Palestinian Barricades At VCU, Arrests Are Made


Screenshot/Citizens free Press X

On Monday night, police broke up pro-Palestinian protests demanding a ceasefire in Gaza in Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).

Video shows protesters creating barricades and getting violent with police.

Multiple arrests were made in a matter of minutes. Watch:

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Protester Sings Read ‘Free Palestine’ and ‘Ceasefire Now’

The protest outside the university at VCU’s James Cabell Library began earlier in the day on Monday, April 29, in conjunction with a number of other similar protests across the country.

Campus protesters carried signs demanding “Free Palestine” and “Ceasefire Now,” among other slogans.

According to Norfolk’s 8 News, their “team members on the ground witnessed VCU Police in riot gear create a police line around 8:30 p.m., exiting from a bus that had been staged near the protest’s encampment. Soon after, a VCU alert was sent out calling the protest ‘violent’ and an unlawful assembly was declared. Police then moved in on the protestors, working to break apart their line. Some of them were seen wearing gas masks.”

Their reporters and staff “on the ground said they saw hundreds of officers moving in, taking down the barricade by force. Virginia State Police deputies were seen among them.”

Many videos were taken of the chaos where police officers can be seen forcing protestors to the ground and using zip ties to bind their hands.

Protesters hurled water bottles and other missiles at the officers as well, according to the video.

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Enforcing Richmond City Code

According to our team members, some protestors were seen tossing water bottles at officers. Protesters raised tents and established what they called their ‘Liberation Zone’ in the early evening.

Before police arrived, protestors donned masks and formed a line around their encampment. They can be seen using palettes to create their barricade.

VCU is a state school which means its property is public. Richmond’s City Code says that people cannot “camp, lay or sleep on, near or about any public lands or structures belonging to or under control of the city after 11 p.m.” if they don’t have special permission.

On Monday, it appears Richmond law enforcement intended to enforce that code.

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin weighed in on the protests across the commonwealth as well, saying, “Across the Commonwealth we’ve seen student and significant non-student participants, throw projectiles at law enforcement, violate the policies of our colleges and universities, obstruct and disrupt student life and endanger public safety.”

In the early morning hours Youngking also gave his final verdict: “After repeated warnings and refusal to disperse, law enforcement must protect Virginians. My administration will continue to fully support campus, local and state law enforcement and university leadership to keep our campuses safe.”

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