HomeWorldWatch: Police use bulldozer to halt pro-Palestine protest at Amsterdam University

Watch: Police use bulldozer to halt pro-Palestine protest at Amsterdam University


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The police and pro-Palestine protestors clashed inside the campus of Amsterdam University when the march turned violent. Police were seen using batons on protestors when they attempted to march past the Holocaust Monument on their way to Amsterdam’s city centre.

Students and employees of the University of Amsterdam take part in a pro-Palestine rally on campus (Reuters)(REUTERS)

Thousands marched in Amsterdam on Tuesday, finally convening at a central university and putting barricades on the narrow canal-facing road in front of the campus buildings. However, the Dutch police resorted to using bulldozers to knock down these barricades to avoid escalations in the march.

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Videos from the protest showed the police using bulldozers to remove the barricades set up by pro-Palestine protestors, with officers wielding batons and shieled beating up protestors and removing tents.

Earlier in the day a crowd of several hundred had gathered, chanting slogans against the war in Gaza and denouncing Israel’s ongoing military operations. “Free, Free Palestine!”, protesters shouted. “The people united will never be defeated.”

“Students and staff describe the use of pepper spray, police batons, police dogs and bulldozers to forcefully remove them. People were injured because of this excessive violence,” a group calling itself Dutch Scholars for Palestine said in a statement.

The University of Amsterdam also said in a statement that what started out as a peaceful march to show solidarity with Palestine soon turned violent, with protestors turning hostile, getting violent and burning an Israeli flag.

Protesters had ignored requests by the university and the mayor to leave the campus, police said. They further said that a total of 169 people were detained from the rally, and all but four of the protestors were released a few hours later.

One officer suffered hearing damage, a police spokeswoman said, adding that it was still unclear how many other people may have been injured. “The police’s input was necessary to restore order. We see the footage on social media. We understand that those images may appear as intense,” police said.

Tensions remain high in universities across the United States, now spreading to Europe, after a pro-Palestine movement launched by Columbia University nearly a month ago. Since April 18, just over 2,600 people have been arrested on 50 campuses, figures based on AP reporting and statements from universities and law enforcement agencies.

(With inputs from Reuters, AP)

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