Police arrested 41 students at Brown University after the pro-Palestinian protesters refused to leave college property.
They occupied University Hall, demanding that the college supports divestment from “Israeli military occupation” and calling for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.
Police booked them for trespass after they were ordered to leave by 5pm but were still there two hours later.
The protesters, from Brown Divest Coalition, urged Brown “to promote a permanent ceasefire by divesting from companies that facilitate the genocide in Gaza.”
Brown president Christina Paxson met protesters and reiterated that she was not going to accede to their demands.
University Spokesperson Brian Clark said “all arrest processing” was carried out “on-site in University Hall”. Students were “photographed, fingerprinted and provided their arrest paperwork in lieu of being detained in physical custody.”
“The disruption to secure buildings is not acceptable, and the University is prepared to escalate the level of criminal charges for future incidents of students occupying secure buildings.”
Last month 20 members of Jews for Ceasefire Now were charged with trespassing after staging a similar sit-in calling for divestment and a ceasefire. The charges were later dropped.
Clark said: “Given that this is the second prominent incident in recent weeks of students trespassing in a secure, non-residential building after operating hours, the University fully expects to recommend more significant criminal misdemeanor charges for any future incidents after the December 11 sit-in.
“It’s essential to highlight that arresting students is not an action that Brown takes lightly, and it’s not something the University ever wants to do.”
As the arrests began, students shouted “Shame on Brown, shame on Brown”