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Biden’s Stern Warning Amid Escalating Pro-Palestinian Protests

Daniel Kim Views  

On May 2nd (local time), President Joe Biden warned that while freedom of speech is respected in the United States, violent protests, like the pro-Palestinian demonstrations currently spreading like wildfire across American college campuses, will not be tolerated. The division in the U.S. over Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip is deepening, as the number of students arrested during protests on college campuses has surpassed 2,000.

During a White House briefing on May 2nd (local time), President Biden emphasized that the protests on college campuses are testing freedom of expression, the foundation of American democracy, and the rule of law. “Both must be upheld,” he stressed.

He said, “We are not an authoritarian country that silences people or suppresses opposing opinions. Peaceful protest is a tradition in the U.S. However, we are a civilized society, not a lawless country, and order must be maintained.”

Furthermore, he emphasized, “Violent protests will not be protected; only peaceful protests will be. Destroying property is not a peaceful protest; it is illegal. Public property damage, trespassing, breaking windows, shutting down college campuses, and forcing cancellations of classes and graduation ceremonies are not peaceful protests.”

President Biden specifically urged, “Whether it’s anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, discrimination against Arab-Americans or Palestinian-Americans, hateful comments or any form of violence should not exist in the U.S.” He answered “no” when asked if he would reconsider his policy on Israel due to the protests. He said he had no intention of deploying the National Guard, as some Republican members have suggested.

President Biden has publicly stated his position on these protests because the situation has escalated, with the number of arrests surpassing 2,000.

U.S. police raided the protest site at the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) on the same day, dismantling barricades and dispersing campers. Over 200 people were arrested that day and are currently detained in a county jail near Los Angeles. However, CNN reported that in some areas, like Washington, D.C., pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli protesters are conducting relatively peaceful protests.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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