Los Angeles: Rights Group Slams Suppression of Pro-Palestine Protests on Campus

19:06 - April 13, 2024
News ID: 3487920
IQNA – A Muslim American rights group has condemned Pomona College’s suppression of Pro-Palestine rallies on the campus, calling for protection of First Amendment rights.

Los Angeles: Rights Group Slams Suppression of Pro-Palestine Protests on Campus


The Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Greater Los Angeles Area office (CAIR-LA) has voiced its protest against the forcible suppression of free speech by Pomona College during a pro-Palestine sit-in on campus. It has urged the college administration to uphold the First Amendment rights of its students.

On April 5, student activists from the Pomona Divest from Apartheid coalition staged a peaceful sit-in at the office of Pomona College President Gabrielle Starr. The demonstration was aimed at urging the college to respect the majority student vote favoring divestment from companies that support or invest in Israeli apartheid.

This follows the February 2024 decision by the Pomona College student government to divest all school investments from Israeli apartheid, a move opposed by President Starr.

In response to the sit-in, the college administration deployed approximately 30 police officers, including 12 in full riot gear. Nineteen students were subsequently arrested, jailed, and immediately suspended from the college, according to the rights group.

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CAIR-LA Policy Manager Basha Jamil said she was “deeply concerned” about the developments. “All students should feel safe expressing their views and engaging in their right to assemble peacefully. Yet what we are seeing in Pomona follows a similar pattern of suppression of pro-Palestine activism happening on college campuses across the country, with students being harassed, criminalized, and maligned for expressing solidarity with Palestine.”

She called on the university administration to “immediately cease any further acts of violence and repression” against students and “address their demands, including divestment from weapons manufacturers and institutions that support the Israeli occupation.”


Source: Agencies