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Police break down pro-Palestinian barricades at VCU and arrests are made

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Police break down pro-Palestinian barricades at VCU and arrests are made

Screenshot/Citizens Free Press X

On Monday evening, police broke up pro-Palestinian protests demanding a ceasefire in Gaza in Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU).

Video shows protesters setting up barricades and becoming violent against police.

Several arrests were made within minutes. Watch:

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Protester sings ‘Free Palestine’ and ‘Ceasefire Now’

The protest outside the university at VCU’s James Cabell Library began earlier in the day on Monday, April 29, along with a number of other similar protests across the country.

Protesters on campus carried signs demanding “Free Palestine” and “Ceasefire Now,” among other slogans.

According to According to Norfolk’s 8 News, their “team members on the ground witnessed VCU police in riot gear create a police line and exit a bus set up near the protest encampment around 8:30 p.m. Shortly afterwards, a VCU alert was sent calling the protest “violent” and declaring an unlawful assembly. Police then attacked the demonstrators and tried to break their line. Some of them were wearing gas masks.”

Their reporters and staff “on the ground” said they saw hundreds of officers enter and take down the barricade by force. Deputies from the Virginia State Police were seen among them.”

Many videos have been captured of the chaos, showing police officers forcing protesters to the ground and using zip ties to tie their hands.

According to the video, protesters also threw water bottles and other missiles at the officers.

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Enforcement of Richmond City Code

According to our team members, some protesters were seen throwing water bottles at officers. Protesters set up tents in the early evening and established what they called their “Liberation Zone.”

Before police arrived, protesters wore masks and formed a line around their encampment. You can see them using palettes to create their barricade.

VCU is a state school, which means its ownership is public. Richmond’s city code says people cannot “camp, lie or sleep on, near or around any public lands or structures belonging to or under the control of the city” after 11 p.m. if they do not have special permission.

On Monday, it appears law enforcement authorities in Richmond planned to enforce that code.

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin also weighed in on the protests across the Commonwealth, saying, “Across the Commonwealth we have seen students and key non-student participants throw projectiles at law enforcement agencies, violate the policies of our colleges and universities, Disrupting student life and endangering public safety.”

In the early morning hours, Youngking also issued his final verdict: “After repeated warnings and refusal to disperse, law enforcement must protect Virginians. My administration will continue to fully support campus, local and national law enforcement, and university leadership to keep our campuses safe.”

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