About 100 People Arrested at Pro-Palestine Rallies at Dartmouth and UNH

Print More

Screenshot from video provided by Joshua Meyrowitz of encounter at UNH in Durham Wednesday.

UNH police and New Hampshire State Police in riot gear clear students protesting in Durham Wednesday evening.

Video provided by Joshua Meyrowitz

This story will be updated.

By NANCY WEST, InDepthNH.org

Police, some wearing riot gear, arrested about 100 people to clear Pro-Palestine demonstrations Wednesday at Dartmouth College in Hanover and the University of New Hampshire in Durham.

At 8:30 a.m. Thursday morning, there was no additional information available beyond the press releases police sent out during the night that InDepthNH.org has posted in full in the story below.

Joshua Meyrowitz, professor emeritus in the communications department at the University of New Hampshire, said he was invited to give a 30-minute teach-in at the Gaza rally at UNH about journalistic routines from 6:30 to 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Meyrowitz provided a video of the encounter between police and protestors to InDepthNH.org.

“But the students were feeling threatened by a large police presence (no visible police last Thursday), and they asked me to speak just for 3 minutes,” Meyrowitz said in an email.

“UNH Chief Paul Dean shocked those of us who know him around 6:31 p.m. (right after I spoke for 2 mins) by charging at a student carrying what might have been a rolled up small tent (which Paul D confiscated).

Dean didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

“I think others got video of that. Maybe because of the violence of that assault (and its likely recording?), the police stood down for a while, but then announced that the group’s permit had been suspended and that they would be arrested if they did not leave. By then, the students had locked arms during their chants/song,” Meyrowitz said.

“I emphasized that the problem was the mass slaughter in Gaza (armed by the US) and not a few students protesting it, as we would all wish university students would do! But the plan seemed set,” Meyrowitz said.

“Then, around 7:30, the State Police in riot gear showed up, some carrying machine guns! Students were invited to leave or get arrested. Then they marched toward the students, wrestled those holding a banner. Most students shouted ‘shame’ but at least one was verbally provoking the police and I urged him NOT to do that! I was wearing a peace shirt with dove-shaped Palestine & Israel flags,)” Meyrowitz said.

“Town Administrator Todd Selig of Durham & Police Chief Rene Kelly were also there. The students were hauled away — and I have not heard from any of them since,” he said.

Gov. Chris Sununu posted on Twitter just after midnight:

“State police mobilized to support local law enforcement at UNH + @Dartmouth to quickly address the encampments, which violate school policies. Thanks to all those who worked with UNH & Dartmouth to provide on-the-ground support. Peaceful protests are fine, breaking the law is not.”

Earlier in the day Wednesday at a press briefing after the Governor and Executive Council meeting, Sununu said of the college protests around the country: “This is pure anti-Semitism.”

“This is pure hatred. Oh. No, it is. And again, they have a right to express that. I’m disgusted by it,” Sununu said. Read full story here: https://indepthnh.org/2024/05/01/sununu-calls-college-protests-against-the-israel-hamas-war-pure-anti-semitism/

Devon Chaffee, Executive Director of the ACLU of New Hampshire, released the following statement:

“While the situation is still developing, we are highly concerned that police, many in riot gear, appear to have moved quickly and forcefully into protests at the University of New Hampshire and Dartmouth College campuses. Use of police force against protestors should never be a first resort. 

“Freedom of speech and the right to demonstrate are foundational principles of democracy and core constitutional rights. We urge university and government leaders to create environments that safeguard constitutionally protected speech.

“While the ACLU of New Hampshire does not take a position on the conflict in Israel and Palestine, we are committed to ensuring freedom of expression and association, including on college and university campuses in New Hampshire,” Chaffee said.

Dartmouth College’s student newspaper The Dartmouth provided a running timeline as events unfolded there where 90 of the arrests occurred: https://www.thedartmouth.com/article/2024/05/campus-encampments-live-updates-police-start-taking-students-away

State Police spokesman Tyler Dumont said in an email: “All individuals who were taken into custody were processed by the University of New Hampshire Police Department and the Hanover Police Department. Media outlets should contact those agencies for arrest information.”

State Police said last night in a news release: “The New Hampshire State Police deployed personnel and various resources to the University of New Hampshire and Dartmouth College campuses in response to illegal activity and at the request of local law enforcement. 

“Throughout the evening, Troopers have worked collaboratively to ensure the safety of those participating in First Amendment gatherings and stop unlawful actions and clear violations of both schools’ policies.”

“The members of the New Hampshire State Police are committed to protecting the constitutional rights of Granite Staters while also ensuring those who violate the law are held accountable.”

Hanover police released the following release: “On May 1, 2024, there was a planned protest on the Dartmouth Green and the Hanover Police Department was advised by Dartmouth Safety and Security that no encampment or tents would be allowed. Once tents were erected, Dartmouth Safety & Security made multiple announcements to participants that they must disperse, and they refused. Hanover Police along with the New Hampshire State Police made multiple announcements to disperse and while some chose to leave, many stayed. This event required a multi-agency response including assistance from the Central New Hampshire Special Operations Unit (CNHSOU) to ensure community safety. Ninety people were arrested for multiple offenses including criminal trespass and resisting arrest. The arrestees included both Dartmouth students and non-Dartmouth students.”

Comments are closed.