A day that began with three dozen demonstrators arrested or cited on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus ended with another arrested after an altercation between pro-Palestinian demonstrators and police at N.C. State University.

The protest at the Raleigh campus began peacefully around 6:30 p.m. at the Memorial Belltower, reported ABC11, The News & Observer’s newsgathering partner.

A hour in, police ordered the protesters to leave campus. When they did not, an officer grabbed a protester identified only as Nada, ABC11 reported. She was arrested and taken to the Wake County Detention Center.

From there, demonstrators who had moved to the sidewalk tried to enter campus again. The police initially pushed back, but eventually let the group continue marching through campus. They marched to the student union and then back to the belltower.

Organizers then ordered everyone to go to the jail to support Nada, ABC11 reported.

Not long after they arrived, Nada was released and walked out of the detention center to the cheers of the crowd.

“I’m not scared, I’m not intimidated, I did what I had to do to be out here for Palestine,” Nada told ABC11. “We will be heard by our universities, we will be heard by the community, and I stand by that.”

UNC arrests, encampment dismantled

In Chapel Hill, UNC facilities workers at Polk Place continued early Wednesday to clean up graffiti, signs and trash left behind from Tuesday’s protests. Nearby, a small group of students posed for photos at the Old Well in their Carolina blue robes.

Another student, a graduating senior from Fayetteville, stopped to talk with the facilities workers. He helped to keep the flag from touching the ground when protesters tried taking it down a second time, the unidentified student said.

UNC administrators ordered the removal of a pro-Palestinian encampment from Polk Place before dawn Tuesday. The encampment, organized by Students for Justice for Palestine on Friday, included non-students and students from UNC, N.C. State and Duke universities and had gown to several hundred people by Monday afternoon.

“Failure to follow this order to disperse will result in consequences including possible arrest, suspension from campus and, ultimately, expulsion from the university, which may prevent students from graduating,” UNC Interim Chancellor Lee Roberts and Provost Chris Clemens said in a statement at 5:37 a.m.

UNC policy prohibits temporary structures, including tents, from being erected on campus unless approved in advance.

The pro-Palestinian protesters clashed with police throughout the day Tuesday, at one point after replacing the U.S. flag on the flagpole outside the South Building with a Palestinian flag.

Protesters threw water on Roberts and a group of police officers as they reinstalled the U.S. flag. Protesters tried to remove the flag again a short while later, but were stopped by counter-protesters who held the flag up so it did not touch the ground. The counter-protesters took the flag to a police staging area in Gerrard Hall.

The university canceled classes, on the last day of the semester, and also suspended all non-mandatory operations.

Campus officials worked with a facilities crew to rehang the flag Tuesday evening.

Police detained 36 protesters on Tuesday, citing 10 students and 20 people unaffiliated with the university with trespassing. Another six protesters were arrested and charged at the Orange County jail with trespassing.

At least one protester was also charged with assault on a government official and resist delay and obstruct according to UNC Police reports.


(News & Observer staff writer Chantal Allam contributed to this report.)


©2024 The Charlotte Observer. Visit at charlotteobserver.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.