ASU police investigates disruption at student government meeting after rocks thrown
Nov 16, 2023, 4:35 AM | Updated: Nov 17, 2023, 1:48 pm
(Facebook File Photo/Arizona State University Police Department)
PHOENIX — The Arizona State University Police Department is investigating a disruption of an ASU Undergraduate Student Government meeting Tuesday night.
A group of students involved in a pro-Palestine group were reportedly throwing rocks at windows outside of the meeting, and there were claims of antisemitic language and death threats.
POLICE INCIDENT | Public Disruption | Tempe campus
ASUPD is actively investigating the disruption of the ASU Student Government meeting last night.
The incident is being reviewed for possible disorderly conduct/criminal damage charges.
No arrests have been made at this time. pic.twitter.com/Ss1S2iVLbn
— Arizona State University Police Department (@ASUPolice) November 15, 2023
Student organization Students for Justice in Palestine at Arizona State University went to the meeting to petition for ASU to boycott and divest from Israel. Israel declared war against Hamas in response to a deadly attack by Hamas on Oct. 7, killing over 1,200 people and taking more than 200 hostages. Within the last weeks, Israel responded with attacks that have killed more than 11,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.
According to a statement from SJP ASU, 120 people showed up in support. The organization planned to demonstrate two hours before the 7 p.m. meeting.
ASU Student and Israeli veteran Shy-Lee Ben Ezer said in an interview on KTAR News’ The Gaydos and Chad Show that Jewish student organizations showed up early, as well, and the scene before the meeting was tense.
“The pro-Palestinian group started marching toward us and started chanting, ‘Intifada, Intifada,'” Ben Ezer said. Intifada refers to an uprising.
In the meeting, SJP students and Jewish students were given 10 minutes each to speak in front of USG representatives.
Ben Ezer said SJP members started chanting as they gave comments.
“The representative asked them to stop chanting and then our side started giving speeches and they started chanting while we were giving speeches. They actually had to restart our timer because they took some of our time while they were chanting,” she said.
Ben Ezer said the university should publicly condemn the behavior.
In an Instagram statement, SJP ASU said “despite massive waves of misinformation on Twitter, the event was nonviolent and there’s no antisemitic rhetoric being spread by any of their supporters.”
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ASU released the following statement on the incident:
The ASU Police Department is currently investigating the disruption of the ASU Student Government meeting on Tuesday night on the Tempe campus. The incident is being reviewed for possible disorderly conduct and criminal damage charges — no arrests have been made at this time. Arizona State University provides a community that embraces diversity, tolerance, respect, and inclusion. The university rejects and denounces antisemitism. ASU will not tolerate physical intimidation or violence, and we will take action to ensure the physical safety of students. ASU President Michael Crow has been very clear about the university’s position on this topic.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.