College and university campuses in the United States have erupted into conflict over student protests and encampments over the Israeli-Hamas war. College administrations, state and local police officers have literally engaged in violent clashes with protesters, many of them students and faculty, calling for divestment from Israel in the wake of the war. While tensions and arrests have been escalating on college campuses across the nation, Brown University may have the answer to ending the encampments. Why are students, faculty and community members protesting on college campuses?

Student protesters are accusing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli military of genocide as it relates to the killing of innocent Palestinians, by Israeli military actions as they pursue Hamas leaders. Al-Jazeera is reporting 35,000 Palestinians have been killed, 75,000 injured and 9,500 have been held in captivity since the start of the Israel-Hamas war. Israel declared war on Hamas, following Hamas’ surprise attack on Israel, killing 1,200 people, including 35 U.S. citizens. More than 100 Israeli’s are still being held as hostages by Hamas.

Columbia University, Dartmouth College, UCLA and Emory University have been in the news for engaging local and state police officers to arrest protesters who have erected encampments protesting the school’s punishment of students with pro-Palestine views. The University of Southern California banned their 2024 valedictorian from making a graduation speech, subsequently canceling all graduation ceremonies citing safety concerns.  Many of the pro-Palestine protesters including students and faculty, were violently assaulted and arrested by police placing administration under fire. In Atlanta, 28 people were arrested at Emory; of the arrests, 20 were students or faculty.

As colleges and universities double down on ending pro-Palestine protests and assemblies, Brown University seems to have found the answer to de-escalating the campus conflicts, by becoming the first university to meet with protesters and agree to hold a board vote on divesting from Israel. Jacey Fortin of The New York Times reports the following:

“As pro-Palestinian protests continued to escalate across the country, officials and students at Brown University set a rare example on Tuesday: They made a deal.

Demonstrators agreed to dismantle their encampment at Brown, which had been removed by Tuesday evening, and university leaders said they would discuss, and later vote on, divesting funds from companies connected to the Israeli military campaign in Gaza.

The agreement came even as scenes of chaos continued to overtake U.S. universities, with protesters at Columbia in New York and Portland State in Oregon occupying buildings, and demonstrators at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill replacing an American flag at the center of campus with a Palestinian one.

More than a thousand people have been arrested over the past two weeks after a crackdown on a pro-Palestinian encampment at Columbia in New York resulted in a cascade of student activism across the country.”

Perhaps the embattled colleges and universities can take a page from Brown on conflict resolution?

This story is developing.

Read the entire story on the New York Times here.

This article was written by Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., founder & editor-in-chief of The Burton Wire. Follow Nsenga on social media @Ntellectual.

Follow the Burton Wire @TheBurtonWireNews or @TheBurtonWire on IG.

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