Biden speaks out for first time over US university protests

US

President Joe Biden has spoken out for the first time following violence and arrests during demonstrations at multiple US universities, saying: “There is a right to protest but not a right to cause chaos.”

Tension at universities across America have been building for days as demonstrators have refused to remove encampments and administrators have called in law enforcement to break them up.

There have been clashes between pro-Palestinian activists and counter-protesters, as well as between demonstrators and police.

Speaking at the White House today, Mr Biden said “order must prevail”.

He continued: “Dissent is essential for democracy. But dissent must never lead to disorder.”

Biden has, at times, criticised Israel’s conduct but has continued to supply it with weapons.

The president said the protests have not prompted him to rethink policies relating to the Middle-East.

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Overnight, police arrested pro-Palestinian protestors on multiple campuses, including at the University of California, Los Angeles (ULCA), where officers in riot gear fired rubber bullets at demonstrators and tore down an encampment that had been in place for a week.

Somewhere between 200 and 300 people were arrested at UCLA last night, two law enforcement sources have told Sky’s US partner NBC News.

Specific information on those arrested – such as whether they are students, staff or not affiliated with the university – may not be known for days.

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