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Police break up pro-Palestine protest at French university (VIDEOS)

Activists have occupied the Sorbonne lecture halls and blocked the entrance to the prestigious school

Paris law enforcement resorted to tear gas and brute force to clear a pro-Palestine student picket outside the prestigious Sorbonne University in Paris on Tuesday. Student demonstrations against the Israeli military operation in Gaza have intensified globally as the IDF troops carried out first “limited” ground incursions into the overcrowded border town of Rafah.

Dozens of police in riot gear with batons and shields cracked down on the French student demonstration soon after it began on Tuesday afternoon. Forming several ranks, shields up, they began to pressure the protesters, pushing them back from blocking the street in front of Sorbonne.

After some of the protesters pushed back, police resorted to using pepper spray, according to videos of the clashes circulating online. In the footage, at least four officers can be seen spraying tear gas into the crowd over the wall of shields.

Scores of protesters with Palestinian flags gathered at the entrance to the university on Tuesday. They chanted “Free Palestine!” slogans, as well as “Israel, get out! Palestine is not yours!”; “We are all the children of Rafah” and “Ceasefire in Gaza, now!,” according to a video shared by Sputnik.

The protesters also set up a makeshift encampment with tents inside of a Sorbonne lecture hall, according to videos posted on X (formerly Twitter) by independent news site Le Media.


L’amphi occupé depuis 18h est évacué par la police #gaza #palestine #StudentJusticeForPalestine #StudentProtests #rafah pic.twitter.com/jJ91NDdPjZ

— Le Média (@LeMediaTV) May 7, 2024

They can be seen linking arms as they sit on the floor, while police break up the human chain and carry demonstrators out of the building one by one in another video. The lecture hall was occupied by the protest from 6pm, Le Media wrote.


Des #étudiants occupent un amphi à l’université La Sorbonne pour la #Palestine, la fac fermé ses portes #StudentProtests #StudentJusticeForPalestine #StudentsForGaza #gaza #israel #rafah #sciencespo pic.twitter.com/2ip3Oz0Sqh

— Le Média (@LeMediaTV) May 7, 2024

Earlier in the day, police broke up a separate pro-Palestine gathering at Sciences Po, another university in Paris. Protesters blocked the entrance to the building with garbage bins, furniture and bicycles, according to Le Monde. Police made a couple of arrests and broke up the meeting. A second protest of around a 100 people picketed in front of the school’s entrance later in the day, before it was dispersed as well.

READ MORE: Pro-Palestine student protests spread to Nordic nations

Pro-Palestine student protests have rolled across universities around the world as Israel prepares to expand its war against Hamas with a possible full-scale ground incursion into Rafah. The overcrowded city shelters as many as 1.4 million Palestinians, who were previously displaced by the Israeli bombing and ground operation in northern Gaza, according to United Nations estimates. The UN has repeatedly warned of the desperate humanitarian situation in Rafah, growing risk of disease and famine and inadequacy of the current flow of aid.


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