Supporters Rally Outside Collin County Jail for Arrested UT Dallas Protesters

Pro-Palestine protesters gather outside Collin County Jail in solidarity with the 21 individuals arrested at the University of Texas Dallas campus.

A significant gathering of Palestinian protesters congregated in the plaza of Collin County Jail on Thursday morning, showing solidarity with the 21 individuals arrested during a demonstration at the University of Texas Dallas campus the previous evening.

Fatima Ahmed, a student at UT Dallas, expressed the importance of their presence, stating, “Being here really puts pressure on them to move the process along. It also lets the people in there know they are not alone. That there are people out here supporting them and waiting on them to come home.”

The arrests occurred after protesters refused to disband a pro-Palestine encampment on the university campus. Law enforcement intervened, dismantling tents and making arrests, including students like Mousa Najjar, who remarked, “We did not provoke anyone when we set up our encampment… If anything, we got a lot of support from the faculty and a lot of support from students and community members across the board.”

Throughout the arraignment process, supporters remained steadfast, cheering each time a protester was released. Ahmed highlighted the determination of the supporters, stating, “Emotions are high… Understandably, people are growing weary, yet they remain committed to supporting both those arrested and the people in Palestine.

Authorities charged all those arrested with misdemeanor criminal trespass, a charge that appeared unjust to Najjar, particularly since he faced trespassing allegations on his own campus.

Now that they have released everyone, the organization behind the protest has not disclosed its next steps, but they continue to be committed to their mission. “We demand that our university not only divest but rejects rhetoric, the racist rhetoric, that Governor Greg Abbott has put out against students and Palestine solidarity committees in the state of Texas,” Najjar affirmed.

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