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Pro-Palestine protest held at University of Mississippi

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A pro-Palestine protest was held at the University of Mississippi on Thursday.

The protest was held in the Quad on campus, where hundreds of students gathered to either support or oppose the demonstration.

Photos and videos from teachers and students on campus show a large group holding signs reading “Open your eyes… Free Palestine,” and “Stop the Genocide.” Videos also captured the protesters yelling phrases like “Palestine is our demand, no peace on stolen land.”

Meanwhile, counter-protestors surrounded the initial 50-60 students leading the pro-Palestine demonstration. Students showed up with American flags and their own signs. Some students were even heard on video shouting “terrorists” and “USA” at the protesters.

Oxford Police set up barricades between the two groups as the event continued.

Jacob Batte, University of Mississippi Director of Media Relations released a statement on the event Thursday evening.

“As a public institution, the University of Mississippi is committed to supporting the rights of our students, faculty and employees to express their views in a respectful manner and to assemble peacefully as enshrined in the First Amendment. While today’s demonstration was passionate and several protesters and counter-protesters received warnings from law enforcement over their actions, there were no arrests, no injuries reported, and the demonstration ended peacefully.”

Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves said that he was aware of the scheduled protest, and law enforcement was prepared prior to the event.

“Mississippi law enforcement is also aware. And they are prepared. Campus police, City, County, and State assets are being deployed and coordinated. We will offer a unified response with one mission: Peaceful protests are allowed and protected – no matter how outrageous those protesters’ views may seem to some of us. But illegal behavior will not be tolerated. It will be dealt with accordingly. Law and order will be maintained!”

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The university has not yet released a statement regarding the protest, but the Clarion Ledger reported that pro-Palestine protesters had to be evacuated off campus. They say the university could not confirm if the protesters were students.

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