Dozens arrested in US as student protests over Gaza spread across country

Dozens arrested in US as student protests over Gaza spread across country

Chaos engulfed campuses across the United States as pro-Palestinian student protests spread to universities across the length and breadth of this country. 

A movement which started at Columbia University on the east coast has now spread to the north, south and west.

At the University of Southern California in Los Angeles at least 93 people were arrested during a volatile three-hour standoff between protesters and the police.

One young woman, wearing an Arab scarf, threw a bottle of water at officers and was tackled to the ground before being handcuffed and taken to a waiting police van.

Others, who had formed a protest circle after police issued a dispersal order, were handcuffed one by one and frogmarched off campus by Los Angeles police officers.

The day had started relatively peacefully as hundreds of students gathered on the main lawn on campus.

Police did intervene to remove a number of tents that had been erected, but people holding signs which called for a ceasefire in Gaza soon filled the space.

As classes finished for the day, police issued a dispersal order, telling protesters over a loudspeaker that they had 10 minutes to clear the area or they would be arrested.

A group of at least 50 students remained, linking arms and chanting, “free, free, Palestine”. Some used a black marker pen to scribble on their arms the number of a helpline to call from prison.