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Fresh out of jail, GWU anti-Israel protester vows movement is ‘stronger than ever’

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An anti-Israel protester who identified herself as one of the 33 arrested this morning during the dismantling of an encampment at George Washington University is now vowing that her movement is “stronger than ever.” 

“So, I literally just got out of jail like an hour and a half ago,” the woman, named Nora, said during a press conference. “We are here. We are strong. They can mace us. They can brutalize us. They can pepper-spray us. But the movement is here. It is stronger than ever. Our energy has not dissipated. As a matter of fact, it’s come back ten times stronger. We completely reject the idea that GW and Metro PD had to escalate. 

“No matter how brutalized we are, no matter how much cop presence we have, it is nothing compared to what is happening in Palestine. It is nothing compared to what’s happening in Gaza,” she continued. “It is nothing compared to what is happening in Rafah right now. And we will not lose eyes of our compass in Palestine. That leads our movement forward.

“That is the forefront of our struggle. And we will not allow some arrests to get in the way of that,” she also said. “I don’t have much to say other than the fact that they can try all they might, but we’re not going to let no f—— system walk all over us. Oh, and for the time being, I’m going to take a rest.” 

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GWU anti-Israel protest

Officers from the Metropolitan Police Department pepper-spray demonstrators at George Washington University Wednesday, May 8, 2024, in Washington, D.C.  (Sage Russell, GW Hatchet via AP)

Metropolitan Police Chief Pamela Smith said earlier today that 33 people were arrested at the anti-Israel encampment at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., Wednesday morning. 

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GWU encampment cleared

Workers carry student tents to a dump truck after police cleared an anti-Israel encampment at George Washington University early Wednesday, May 8, and arrested demonstrators. (AP/Jose Luis Magana)

During a press conference, Smith explained that police decided to intervene after the initially peaceful protest began to escalate and showed risks of violence. Police began to suspect the protest was becoming “more volatile and less stable” after an officer was pushed by protesters and an item was grabbed out of his hand last Thursday, Smith said. 

“In addition, items that could potentially be used for offensive and defensive weapons were being gathered,” Smith said. 

GWU clashes

Demonstrators clash with officers from the Metropolitan Police Department at George Washington University early Wednesday. (Sage Russell/GW Hatchet via AP)

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After consulting with Mayor Muriel Bowser, police decided to act and gave multiple warnings to the demonstrators to disperse. After six dispersal announcements, police entered the encampment and began to make arrests for unlawful entry and assault on a police officer.  

Fox News’ Chris Pandolfo contributed to this report. 

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