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Quest Means Business

Widespread Pro-Palestinian Protests At US Colleges; Blinken Pushes New Ceasefire Proposal During Saudi Visit; Police Arrest Protesters At University Of Austin-Texas; Police Confront Protesters At University Of Texas At Austin; President Of Emory University Face No-Confidence Vote; Widespread Pro-Palestinian Protests At U.S. College. Aired 4-5p ET

Aired April 29, 2024 - 16:00   ET



ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

PAULA NEWTON, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: And good evening, everyone. I'm Paula Newton in New York and we begin with breaking news.

Tensions are threatening to spill over at the University of Texas at Austin. Those are pictures right there where are you can see police, in

fact, in the last few hours, have arrested at least six pro-Palestinian protesters there. Officers in riot gear have been surrounding a group of

demonstrators. Plenty of other schools though, are also in a similar position at this hour.

Pro-Palestinian protesters at Columbia University are refusing to leave their encampment two hours after the school's deadline for them to disband.

Now, the demonstrators voted to defy the order even though Columbia says it will suspend students who do not leave.

And at UCLA, opposing protest groups clashed over the weekend after crossing a barrier meant to separate them.

Omar Jimenez is at Columbia University for us here in New York and Nick Watt is at UCLA in Los Angeles. I want to go first to you though, Omar, as

we just said, there was this deadline just passed about two hours ago. Give us the latest kind of what's been the reaction there on campus and also


OMAR JIMENEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, so that deadline came and went and in the initial minutes of that deadline, many of those who are inside the

encampment and others that joined in essentially started marching in a circle around the encampment, in essence, to protect the encampment as


And we've seen that for the most part over the course of the entire afternoon. Now, that particular activity just slowed down a little bit in

last few minutes. But to give you an idea of some of the dynamics, they were marching around in a circle. We began seeing some pro-Israeli counter

protesters as well.

I was talking to one of those Jewish students there who told me that they want it to be there and represent the Israeli flag because they wanted it

known that Jewish people can also be on this campus and that they are not going anywhere.

And so that was the reason that they stood up there and started waving that flag, which at that point was right over where the pro-Palestinian

protesters were coming in.

And to give you an idea of where I am right now, so that is a lot of where they were marching in circles to protect the encampment. This is the

entrance to the encampment right here as well.

What you see in these orange and yellow construction vests of sorts, these are all faculty and they have faculty listed on the himself. And at points,

they've linked arms at the entrance of this encampment to really show support for these students, too. As I spoke to one of them, they told me

that they believed what the students were doing as far as protests goes was in what they are supposed to do as students in questioning authority.

And one of them believed that the university was criminalizing protest here. And so that is why part of why the professors here, at least some of

the faculty here have decided to support these students. But you mentioned the critical portion here, the university promised or said that once we get

past 2:00 PM, if students have not vacated the encampment, which there are still some in there at this point, they would face suspension, to the very

least, would not be able to finish the semester in good standing.

We have not seen suspensions actually given out publicly as far as we know at this point, but the university did just give notice that they are going

to give a briefing a little bit later this afternoon, so we are going to try and listen in at that point, see if maybe they are giving an update on

what is going to happen here.

But bottom line, students, many of them did not listen to that deadline, are remaining defiant, and even beforehand voted to remain defiant of this

deadline and they say they want the university to divest from Israel, which the university made clear this morning, they are not going to divest from

Israel and that is the standoff where we currently are.

NEWTON: Listen, Omar, I know since you've been following it, look, the university administrators have been doing their best to try and talk to

protesters. I will say what we just saw and the viewers were just seeing on the right of their screens was the fact that at the University of Austin,

we see these pictures again, quite a police presence, six arrested so far.

But we are seeing them actually pulling protestors off the lawn there and trying to disband them. Omar, what I want to know from you is what kind of

numbers are we dealing with there? And do you sense a reluctance on the part of the university at this point to really bring in any campus security

or any NYPD?

JIMENEZ: So for starters, I do think there is reluctance at this point to send in the NYPD. In fact, the university said this morning that doing so

for a second time because they did so last week would be counterproductive after talking to a lot of different stakeholders.


It was last week or I guess, over a week-and-a-half ago at this point in the initial days of the encampment, the university sent in the NYPD,

arrested many students. They were suspended and many faculty and students felt that is what raised the temperature in some of these protests.

You asked me about the number in there right now. It is hard to estimate based on the tents that are in there, but at this point, we are talking

likely dozens right now. It does not seem to be, just eyeballing anything like by the hundreds for anything like that.

So there are folks who did decide to get out of the in camera at the 2:00 PM deadline, but a good portion remain inside and it remains to be seen how

exactly a university enforces some of these suspensions, and once they do, for the folks that are still inside, what is that next step going to be?

Because right now, they say outside law enforcement is counterproductive. Could that change in the days or potentially even longer to come? We just

don't know

NEWTON: Yes, but thanks for that perspective and letting us know that look, the numbers did dwindle somewhat by having this deadline by which they had

have to leave or they would be faced with suspension.

Nick Watt, to you now, in Los Angeles. You know, we checked in with you last week. Things were pretty heated in the live report that you gave us

then; again, heated on the weekend. So what now and give us a comparison in terms of the numbers you are seeing there at UCLA.

NICK WATT, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I mean, we are seeing a few hundred here. It ebbs and flows depending on the time of day. I will just

give you an idea of what is happening right now and then I will explain how we got here.

So right now, you've got this pro-Palestinian encampment there. We are not allowed into it. The entrance is marshaled by the protesters. They decide

who comes and goes.

We now have this sort of buffer zone established by the college security where we are also not allowed in, and then across here, Tom, if you pan

across here, we have a pro-Israel demonstration that is aboard, loud music playing, showing pictures, playing testimony of the victims from October

7th with a "Free the Hostages" banner.

Now, Tom if you come back here, Royce Hall, which is one of the iconic buildings on campus right now, there is also a mobile pro-Palestinian

protest right now that has just gone in there.

The college here trying desperately to balance three things, they say: The right of free expression, the right of safety for the students, and also

they are trying to protect their core mission, this is a university of after all. They want to try and minimize disruption to teaching and


Now, this has been here since Thursday. We were here on Thursday, it has grown a lot since then. Friday through the weekend, we started seeing some

real scuffles between pro-Palestinian counter protesters and the pro- Palestinian protesters inside.

Lots of pushing, shoving, lots of pretty horrendous things being said by both sides and also on both sides, there are students, but there are also

people from the wider community who have come here to try to make their point.

So I would call this right now an uneasy peace, and it is unclear where it is going to go. I mean, as Omar was just saying from Columbia, the demand

here is also divest the UC system because by the way, UCLA doesn't make decisions on divestment, it is a broader college system. So they are

demanding divestment and the UC system is saying, no, we won't divest because that would impinge on the academic freedoms of some of the other


So it is this terrible balancing act with no end in sight and as I say, a very uneasy peace. The only way that they are able to keep the peace here

is two layers of barriers and they are really trying to keep the police out of this. They saw what happened at USC, the other college here in LA,

middle of last week. The LAPD went in there along with campus security pretty hard and fast. There were nearly a hundred arrests and it got very

ugly, running sort of skirmishes between pro-Palestinian protesters and the campus security. It was ugly.

UCLA does not want to repeat that, so they have just done their very best to keep both sides apart and to keep the police present as sort of

unobtrusive and as unoppressive as possible -- Paula.

NEWTON: Yes, Nick, quite a contrast to what we are seeing on the right of the screen now at the University of Texas in Austin, because there, we have

the State Troopers and I believe, also some campus police there, and we have seen them actually pull protesters out of the crowd there.

We will touch base with Ed Lavendera later this hour to see what is going on at the University of Texas.

I want to go back to Omar though. I mean, Omar, look, this is becoming critical as much as they want outlast the students there. They have

commencements. They've been trying to set up for commencement.

Have they said anything more about that? And also, have you been hearing from students who may or may not agree with the protesters, but just want

to get on with exams and graduation as well.

JIMENEZ: Yes, you know, one of the things that the university made a point of this morning was saying definitively that they will have a commencement

here at the university.


Of course, that was an initial fear by some, or at least at the very least, a question, because many Jewish students here on campus have said that they

do not feel safe and have reported many instances of antisemitism, so much so to the point that they have felt much safer at-home, and it is a

situation that the university has described as tragic.

And so with making that definitive statement, it is clear or at the very least, it is implied that the university does plan to have this encampment

situation resolved. In what way or by which method it gets resolved? We still do not know, but clearly they are making that statement to make a

point as some other universities have decided to not have commencements dealing with similar dynamics.

Now you mentioned what is -- how far things potentially going to go here and folks who just want to get on with their graduation, that's part of the

calculus of the university here saying that at this point, what we have seen so far has impeded on the education experience of others, and how some

of the graduating seniors began their career here at the university, virtual.

And so they see it as even more important to have some of those in-person graduation ceremonies actually take place here.

One of the student organizers or the spokespeople for some of the folks that are protesting inside the encampment, told me that they are planning

to stay there as long as it takes at this point. Again, they have already faced this suspension warning. The students then voted, many of them to

stay in the camp, defying that suspension notice.

We have yet to see those doled out, but again, at what point does this potentially move into force with the context of the last time that this

devolved into force by the university's granting of NYPD in here, it escalated the temperature, many felt, including faculty and students, and

led to what some see as protests across the country as well.

So that is the bind that the university is in, with a good portion of the student body that appears dug in.

NEWTON: Yes. Hard to know what the tipping point is there, Omar, but you make a very good point as students across the country see these scenes and

they feel that they don't have their First Amendment rights. They again, tend to turn up at campus, at least some of them do. And again, this is

going on all across the United States.

And for that reason, Nick, we now go back to you. I mean, sometimes when we are looking at these scenes, especially as things continue to escalate

there, we have live pictures up at the University of Texas.

You are there at UCLA. I am trying to bring in the connective tissue over what are the demands of students there or are there no demands? They are

just showing that they are for the Palestinian cause and they want to show their, obviously, support for the people of Gaza or do they have specific

demands of the university there?

WATT: Well, listen, all of these protests basically mushroomed out of Columbia and are in solidarity with the demands at Columbia.

Here at UCLA, yes, they want the college system to divest. They are here showing their support and solidarity with the people of Gaza, and they also

want the campus basically to be de-policed. That's what they are saying.

I mean, frankly, the police here, the campus officials are being as I said, as unobtrusive as they really can be, but it is an impasse. The university

is not going to divest, so it is unclear where this goes.

And of course, the counter protesters, they want to push the cause of the hostages and the protesters don't really want to address that.

I mean, over the past week at USC and here, I have only seen, I think four people, two people from each side actually trying to converse with each.

Other than that, it is just shouting at each other, shouting past each other, and the commencement issue is also really interesting here in LA.

So you see USC, which is a private university, the protests there are basically closed down because it is a private campus, they can really

control it.

But a young woman who was the valedictorian, who is the valedictorian was supposed to be giving a speech at commencement. She is of Indian-Muslim

extraction and the college, then after some people pointed out some links from this young woman's Instagram to sort of essays about Palestine that

some people on the Israeli and Jewish side might find very offensive, her invitation to speak was withdrawn. That was the first issue.

Then after the protests last week, the entire big commencement event, which usually draws 65,000 people, that was canceled.

And as Omar were saying, you know, I have spoken to a bunch of seniors, both Jewish and not who say our college experience is really being

compromised. Virtual the first year and now, we can't actually get to do a proper graduation.

So there are a lot of kids who feel very passionate on both sides, and there are a lot of kids who are caught in the middle and having their

college experience a little bit shortchanged.


NEWTON: Yes, absolutely. And we have heard from administrators saying they are trying to balance everyone's needs and rights and they obviously trying

to balance so that they do -- are able to have some type of a commencement.

I will point out as well that President Biden is scheduled later in May to have a commencement address at Morehouse College in the State of Georgia.

We will see if that tends to stay in place or if other arrangements have to be made.

Nick, standby for us as we want to check-in in the region now. Now, as everybody knows, the campus protests are just the latest political headache

for President Biden.

A new CNN poll shows 71 percent -- seventy-one percent of Americans disapprove of his handling of the Israel-Hamas War. Clearly, that's not

just down political lines. And this is also interesting, it includes 81 percent of people under the age of 35.

President Biden will likely need to carry those young voters, the ones we see at those universities and elsewhere, if he wants to win in November.

Now his renewed push for a ceasefire, then should be no surprise to anyone.

Mr. Biden's Secretary of State met the Saudi Crown Prince in Riyadh earlier. Antony Blinken is pushing a new ceasefire proposal that Israel

helped craft. Now, it has two phases. First, at least 20 hostages would be freed in return for a number of Palestinian prisoners. The remaining

hostages would be released during phase two, and that would be in exchange for more Palestinian prisoners.

Now, officials its hope that the deal would lead hopefully to a sustainable peace and Blinken is urging Hamas to accept.

Becky Anderson is here for us.

Becky, listen, you've been watching everything going on in the region really since October, since this whole crisis began. I am sure you're

watching what is going on in the United States with interest.

We want to get back to what the connective tissue is between all of this right now. We have a ceasefire on the table. At least one university

spokesperson said today that a ceasefire would help them a lot on those campus protests.

What are you learning today? And what is the view from there?

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: And you're absolutely right to point out, I am here in Riyadh where Antony Blinken has been all day. He

will leave from here to go to Amman, Jordan and then on to Tel Aviv on Wednesday.

And while he and we have been here in Riyadh, at the WEF Forum, I've heard much talk about these college campus protests. It is a real topic of

conversation here.

Look, after months of deadlock, the US, this region, families of the hostages, will be -- and those on these college campuses who are protesting

what is going on in Gaza will be hoping that we all close to an agreement by both sides, which would be a major step forward towards an end to this


Let's just pause for a moment to consider what we've got here. I mean, I've been covering these talks, these on and off talks now for months since

November, when remember that was the last period of calm and when we saw the release of 103 hostages brokered by Qatar.

Now we've got Hamas today in Cairo, considering negotiating on an Egyptian proposal which has been partly crafted by the Israelis, Hamas talking to

Qatar and Egyptian officials about what they make of that and what next step forward is.

You're right to point out, two phases. Firstly upwards of 33 hostages to be released during a period of calm, could be four, five, six weeks in

exchange for those hostages and on the Palestinian side, Palestinian prisoners.

That is less hostages than the Israelis have been demanding. There seems to have been a concession as it were by the Israelis on the number of hostages

in the first phase and that is important to point out.

Second phase though, is what is important. The second phase has new language. The language says there are calls for the restoration of a

sustainable calm. Now, I have been told by one diplomatic source that that is language that the US suggested back in February, which was rejected at

the time by Israelis; language, which basically couches a permanent ceasefire in everything, but name. That is something that Hamas has been

calling for, and it is a red line for Hamas.

So if we get some progress and it is a big if at this point today, the Israelis have suggested they will send a team into Cairo to further work

through this proposal.


Should we get that period, restoration of sustained calm or a permanent ceasefire, that could go on really for some time permanent or not, it could

be as much as a year and it is during that time the rest of the hostages, civilian hostages, Israeli military, Israelis serving in the military and

the bodies of dead hostages will be released.

And that is what Antony Blinken was talking about here today when he thanked Qatar and Egypt for their efforts and described the deal in the

following way --


ANTONY BLINKEN, US SECRETARY OF STATE: Hamas has before it a proposal that is extraordinarily, extraordinarily generous on the part of Israel. And in

this moment, the only thing standing between the people of Gaza and a ceasefire is Hamas. They have to decide and they have to decide quickly.

So we are looking in to that and I am hopeful that they will make the right decision.


ANDERSON: Let's be quite frank. The US putting an awful lot of pressure on the Israelis, Qatar putting an awful lot of pressure on Hamas. The backdrop

to all of this is the threat of a military incursion into Rafah, which frankly nobody wants to see at this point.

We've all been reporting on it and are well-aware of the sort of humanitarian catastrophe that that would suggest, and one Israeli source

has told CNN that this deal could stop that incursion although Israeli officials are not going that far.

So, this is really important and what it will do, Paula, intention here. This is what Blinken, he is talking about here in Amman and in Tel Aviv,

this would pull the trigger on a much longer term post-conflict Gaza plan, and indeed Saudi-Israeli normalization. That is potentially on the table


But the Saudis have been absolutely indignant about where they stand on this. They say the bilateral part of that deal is done with the US. They

need to work now through what the irreversible path to Palestinian statehood would look like, and that is what is important at this point,

because otherwise that normalization deal isn't going to happen -- Paula.

NEWTON: Becky, thank you so much for that update from Riyadh. So relevant right now to what we are seeing on the ground in the United States.

We want to go straight to our Ed Lavendera. He is in Austin, Texas for us. Listen, you've been in the middle of this for a few hours now. Can you

describe for viewers who haven't seen it yet what you're seeing. How many protesters there are? Because the police presence looks quite intense-- Ed.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, we are kind of getting down to the last run of this protest, at least the people here

inside what is described as a liberated encampment zone, and you see the number of officers and essentially, Paula, what they have done is created a

barricade encircling this encampment area allowing other officers to go in there and literally one-by-one arresting and taking away protesters.

They were warned several hours ago to disperse. This is a protest that essentially started off as like an educational event on the south mall of

the University of Texas campus.

There was poetry readings, there were supposed to be art classes to design protest posters and that sort of thing and then it quickly escalated into

this where the protesters quickly encircled themselves using the folding tables and setting up tents, locking arms, and shortly after that, Paula,

is when we saw officers arrive here at the scene.

Of course, his campus and this specific area was the place where you see the intense arrests, often violent last week, more than 60 people arrested.

All of those criminal charges were dropped by the county attorney here, but once again, we are seeing the protesters starting to get out pulled out of

the crowd one by one.

And the group inside there has really diminished quite significantly here just in the last 20 to 30 minutes. So many of the people taken into

custody, some people because of new scorching heat are being allowed to leave as these folks are -- it was incredibly hot. Many of the people

calling for medics inside there.

So, a lot of those people are either -- we have seen conversations happening between the officers and some of the protesters, almost like they

were given the choice whether they could leave now and avoid being arrested or fi they stick around, they are being taken into custody, and many of

these people are being zip-tied and then taken to another location where they were then taken to the county jail several miles away from here.

But the intensity of the crowd that is gathered around this encampment has maintained itself very intensely for the last several hours here -- Paula.


NEWTON: Yes, and Ed, as you were speaking, we saw just in front of you two people who look like they were able to leave voluntarily, right? They are

not being arrested, and yet, we are also showing video of, as you said certain protesters that were plucked out of the crowd and arrested, is

there any rhyme or reason to what the university or authorities are trying to get to here right now?

LAVANDERA: It is hard to say, but I think from what we were able to witness as we stood there on the edges of this encampment, it seemed like the

initial people that were taken into custody or perhaps some of the more vocal protesters, maybe the officers saw them as ring leaders and that sort

of thing.

But now, what we have seen is, they would take one person into custody, wait several minutes and then do another person.

Now the pace of the arrest is happening much faster. This crowd is really starting -- or this protest, is really starting to dwindle.

We should point out that this is what university officials have said since last week is that they were very concerned about. They saw what has

happened and transpired on other campuses like Columbia, and the university officials here were simply saying that they were not going to allow any

kind of encampment to take root on the campus and then have to negotiate with the protesters later.

That is the sense that we have gotten from university officials saying that this is why they were not going to allow any kind of protest that involve

occupying any kind of space at this university.

NEWTON: Yes, quite a different approach there, right, Ed? I mean, we have Columbia University where they believe perhaps bringing in the NYPD

actually escalated things, and here, correct me if I am wrong, both the governor and the university administration are saying no way, you will not

turn the tables on us. You are not allowed to protest on this campus.

LAVANDERA: No, I think that is exactly the kind of the mode of the approach that the university president in asking for State Troopers to arrive here

on the scene and obviously, the governor happy to oblige in all of that.

Now, the protesters here on the outskirts, even like last week, they felt that it was the police presence that escalated the situation and turned it

much more violent, but you hear a lot of the echoes of that sentiment here again, this afternoon, as many people chanting against the law enforcement

presence that is here, essentially arresting people one by one.

But back to the original point that university officials have been making that they were just not going to allow any kind of camp, if you will, and

the moment tents started going up and the protesters using the tables as a barricade and locking arms to take over even a small area here on this

campus, that was something that university officials were not going to tolerate in any way.

In fact, as soon as that happened, the law enforcement presence in this capacity arrived within the hour. So they were holding back a little bit,

trying to take the assessment of what was happening, but when it was clear that the protesters were not going to leave, that is when they moved in

very quickly.

NEWTON: Yes, and Ed, we just showed video again, a very confrontational approach, and as you said, taking them one-by-one and arresting those

students there.

Ed, we will try and get back to you within the next hours. You continue to watch the situation for us again in Austin, Texas.

Now, more -- will have more of those student protests and much more news here, in a moment.

Stay with us.



NEWTON: And returning to our breaking news. Pro-Palestinian protests are rocking college campuses right across the United States. Police have

arrested at least six demonstrators at the University of Texas at Austin. That situation is ongoing. And officers have a group of protesters now

surrounded. Now, protesters at Columbia University, meantime, voted to remain at their encampments.

That was past the school's deadline that passed about 2-1/2 hours ago. Students who refused to leave there are facing suspension. And the

president of Emory University is walking back a statement that said protesters were not part of the school's community. President Gregory Louis

Fenves was now facing a no-confidence vote. That's at Emory University in Atlanta where 28 people so far have been arrested during a protest that

happened there late last week.

Now, 20 of them were affiliated with the school. One of those arrested is actually an economics professor. You'll see her there. Caroline Fohlin

spent a night in jail with the others before being bailed out. Nick Valencia has been following a situation for us at Emory University. And he

joins us now. I mean, Nick, this really shows the full spectrum of how this is going on campuses and what people are doing to try and really resolve

the situation.

So, take us -- we've had a little bit of a history. What's going on behind you right now? You are on campus.

NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We are on campus. We actually were declined initially to be back on campus, but the university had a change of

heart this morning. And the action continues here behind me. At 12:00 this afternoon, they had a faculty-led walk out. Those protests continued at

2:30 with the student-led protests. And that's what you're seeing the leftover remnants of here behind me. A much different scene.

Night and day, really, from what we saw last week in this very quad, a demonstration, a pro-Palestinian demonstration that ended in the violent

arrest of 28 individuals, 20 of whom had an affiliation to this university. And it was earlier that I spoke to Madeline Gordon. She's a senior here at

Emory University. And one of those arrested, she's majoring in creative writing and religion and is really having a, you know, tough time

reconciling what happened to her last week.

She told me this morning that she feels as though the leadership of this administration abandoned her when she needed them the most.


MADELINE GORDON, EMORY UNIVERSITY SENIOR: Students are out here because they don't want violence happening to anyone. It just feels really humblest

as a young person when the people in authority and the people who are supposed to be teaching you and leading you and showing you how to create a

better world are actively suppressing students.


VALENCIA: I spoke to several of those who were taken into custody. And I asked them about the feelings among Jewish students here who are now saying

they feel unsafe, that this is a hostile environment to come to school here. This is your seeing scenes behind me like this that are very

respectful. But even still, those demonstrators that I talked to said that these demonstrations are not against Judaism, but rather against the

actions of Israel in Gaza.

Of course, all of this is happening as the president here at Emory University faces a referendum. That tally will be tallied up on Wednesday.

The ballots were handed out to the faculty today. I spoke to one of those professors who was taken into custody and released with the citation. She's

sort of leading the movement right now for that no confidence vote of the president. It is a symbolic vote only to basically send a message to

Gregory Fenves that they have no confidence in his leadership here. Those actions or those demonstrations continue here on Emory's campus. Paula?

NEWTON: Yes. They certainly do a much calmer scene. And again, a different profile that seems for every university and college campus. Joe Biden, the

president, is scheduled to give a commencement address not too far from that university at Morehouse. I mean, do you get a sense that there is any

concern leading up to that right now?


VALENCIA: Absolutely. In fact, there's overlap in the movement. The movement at Morehouse to push back against the president's visit, we talked

to some of those demonstrators that were involved in that action last week. They were members of the Morehouse College. Morehouse men, as they're

called here. I talked to them about the president coming to visit and they said they said they believe that the president's commencement speech is

pandering to the black vote.

But he wanted an audience of black voters, young black voters, which of course are very important here to reelecting him here. In Georgia, he won,

of course, the state of Georgia in 2020, not by many votes, just by over, you know, just over 11,000 votes. So, those individuals that I spoke to say

that they don't want any part of a commencement that the president has to do with at Morehouse, overlap definitely in those two movements here

between Emory and Morehouse, Paula.

NEWTON: Yes, certainly. More headaches for the Biden administration. Nick, thanks so much. We really appreciate that update. We will be right back

with more on these campus protests.


NEWTON: Returning to our top story. The widespread pro-Palestinian protests on college campuses right across the United States. We continue to monitor

them at this hour. Protesters at Columbia University have defied the school's deadline to leave their encampment. Columbia has threatened to

suspend them at the University of Texas. At Austin, meantime, Texas state police have moved in to arrest protesters.

CNN's team there on the ground witnessed at least six of them taken into custody. Now, just to get a sense of how widespread these protests are, I

want you to take a look at this map.


It shows the college campuses where people have been arrested during pro- Palestinian protests. And you can see that definitely takes in a huge swath of the country. CNN Security Correspondent Josh Campbell is in Los Angeles

for us. And I know you've been following this quite closely. I mean, Josh, look, as a former law enforcement official, we're looking at those pictures

from the University of Texas, right? That is meant to send a message.

It is confrontational and there are a lot of officers on the ground there. What is the strategy behind that? Because in New York, we've seen something

different. We saw where the NYPD was called in, and perhaps that kind of was the tipping point to actually escalate things. And it didn't do what

the University wanted it to do.

JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Paula. We have seen various law enforcement agencies around the country take different postures related

to the level of escalation that they're going to use. As you mentioned there at U.T. Austin, just in a matter of about an hour and a half ago, we

saw police officers go in and encircle this makeshift camp of protesters that were set up on the South Mall of U.T. Austin.

And this is a range of law enforcement, including the local campus police, as well as Texas state troopers that are there in their crowd control gear.

And they methodically went in and started pulling out people one by one. Even at this hour, they continue to do just that. Again, as you mentioned,

that's much different than what we've seen, for example, at Columbia today, where authorities issued this 2:00 p.m. deadline saying that the encampment

there needed to disperse or there would be some type of academic penalty.

But that's far we haven't seen law enforcement go in. So certainly, different departments are approaching this differently. To your point, I

think the message that they're trying to send there in Texas is, although this makeshift camp today was small, they didn't want that to then grow, to

become a larger campus, particularly because -- and just not long from now, that same area where this camp is is the same location where graduation

will be. So, there certainly appears trying to deter that from growing further.

NEWTON: But, Josh, what is the risk that this does at some way, shape or form, get violent though? I mean, when you're looking at that, that were a

lot of police officers on the ground there. I mean, from what I could see, at least one to one with the protesters, if not more.

CAMPBELL: Yes. And that is something that was much different than what we saw last week on the campus of U.T. Austin. At that point, police moved in

and almost seemed haphazardly going in, trying to arrest people. There were skirmishes -- there was violence, there were over 60 people that were

arrested. Today, although that looks like, you know, obviously troubling use of force, you're seeing they're pulling people out.

This is much different than what we saw last week. Again, it appears that they're trying to do this more methodically. You see in the background

there, this encircling of officers, we didn't see that last week, trying to push people out so they don't come in while authorities are trying to take

these individuals into custody. Of course, the big question that people have, why are police going on to college campuses and arresting peaceful


Here in the United States, although there is the First Amendment, you know, under the Constitution that protects freedom of speech, regardless of where

one comes down on this issue of the Israeli-Hamas war, there is no First Amendment protection to protest on private property. And that is what's

happening here. Universities themselves have been saying, we want these camps disassembled, and that's when they call on the police to do just


Obviously, we hope this doesn't result in additional violence, but this is certainly something we're seeing from coast to coast.

NEWTON: No, in fact, some of the charges have been, you know, trespassing, nothing more than trespassing on private property. Really good context for

us, Josh, thanks so much, really appreciate it.

Now, protests by university students have a notable history, of course, in the United States and right around the world. And we've seen them before on

some of these very same campuses, particularly, you'll remember during the Vietnam War, some were peaceful, like the demonstration at Columbia

University in 1970, others were more confrontational, even violent like that at Kent State in 1970.

David Farber is a U.S. history professor at the University of Kansas, and he joins us now. You know, before we get into some of this history, could

you please educate us on the fact that most of these student protests, right, these movements over the decades, they're about affecting change,

right? Have they been successful at that?

DAVID FARBER, U.S. HISTORY PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS: That's the toughest question, isn't it? I think when you look back all the way some 60

years to what happened in the United States during the Vietnam War era, you could say yes. The protests often started small. They were often dismissed

as marginal folks, coops, crazy people, but that anti-war movement did catch fire and students played a major role in it.

And eventually the tide turned against the war in Vietnam in U.S. public opinion. So, while it wasn't an easy road, it wasn't a simple path, I think

it's fair to say, that students and the larger anti-war movement, at least then, they made a difference. You could say the same about the 1970s and

80s when students helped lead the way in fighting apartheid by creating, not unlike what we're seeing today.


Shanty towns they recall then or campus tents being put up on campus grounds to try to say universities please lead the way disinvest from South

Africa. So, students have had a role to play in American politics.

NEWTON: Yes. And certainly, the brave souls that led a lot of the civil rights protests as well. I think what many are wondering here is what is

the difference now. Now I will say during the Vietnam War, many students had a new part in the expression, skin in the game, right? Many of their,

if not, that they weren't being sent to war. Many of their friends or family members were being sent to a war they didn't agree with.

But when we look at it now, Professor Farber, why is there such a difficult time at this historical point that we find ourselves in by trying to

delineate that freedom of expression and that empowerment to actually affect change with the rights of everyone else? And in some cases, other

people being discriminated against and worse in terms of what they believe or who they support.

FARBER: Yes. You've put your nail right on it. This is the hardest question. How do you balance the rights all Americans enjoyed? Your freedom

of speech, freedom of assembly?

NEWTON: Go ahead, we can hear you.

FARBER: Sorry?

NEWTON: No, we -- go ahead. We can hear you.

FARBER: Got you. I was just saying you're right that the balance is difficult to walk through. I think what we're seeing right now is students

trying to find their own line between disruption, which universities have a right to stop and freedom of assembly and freedom of speech, which students

certainly at public universities have a right to enjoy. So, you know, it's a tough decision too. Are these protests furthering the cause?

Are people in the United States watching this and saying, oh, those young people have it right? I think the more angry, the more violent, certainly

when they cross the line into anti-Semitism, which a small minority have done, you're going to have a hard time persuading Americans that this is

the right way to go to turn against our longtime ally and support Hamas and Gaza. So, you know, these are very difficult questions.

I don't envy university presidents trying to find that line between two contrasting rights.

NEWTON: Yes. I don't have a lot of time left but do you believe this will be a generational divide as well between, you know, people on college

campuses and also, you know, those of us with kids at college, you were thinking, OK, we don't want you to get in any trouble here, although

perhaps they really do. This really believe in what they're protesting about.

FARBER: This is a tough one, isn't it? And I think what we're seeing right now is a new generation who are watching in some ways the polarization in

American society that a fight between politicians over what America's role in the world should be, and they're trying to find their own voice in that

conversation. And I think we're going to see some very hard questions ahead about U.S. policy in the Middle East and indeed around the world.

NEWTON: Professor Farber, we will leave it there, but I really thank you for the perspective. It's important, I appreciate it. And we will be right

back with more news in the moment.



NEWTON: And we continue to follow our breaking news as college campuses right around the country really remain in turmoil as pro-Palestinian

supporters stand their ground in so many colleges and universities now across the country. Juliette Kayyem is a CNN senior national security

analyst and she is with me now. And very good to see you. Boy, we're glad to have you hold our hand through this as we try and really parse

everything we're seeing because, you know, different tenor and tone on every campus.

Listen, I know you have been advising some of these schools. What are you telling them and is it different just kind of depending on the context?

JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: It is a little bit different depending on the context, but I also want to put it in context

for international viewers, not to minimize what we're seeing on air but the vast majority of colleges and universities are having peaceful protest and

it's sort of, you know, it's part and parcel of what it's like to be part of a university or college environment.

So, we're looking at a few distinct ones. I will tell you the universal rule for all of them is that law enforcement as your first sort of line of

interaction, right? Your first salvo with students has backfire for every university that has done it. It is backfire because it's not appropriate.

These students are protesting, they don't seem to be breaking any laws and it animates lots more people, including people that might not view the

Palestinian cause as one that they would get out into the yard for.

I mean, as we're seeing at some of these colleges and universities, you have a broad constituency which includes faculty. The faculty are turning

against their presidents, which is only making it worse. So, I know what not to do. In terms of what to do, I am advising, I've been saying on air

the last week, you have to provide outlets for protests. It's lawful, it's legitimate, and it's what students do and should do -- if they feel that

there is something to get them out and protesting.

You have to provide what I call off ramps. You know, you let them rant -- let them rant, you know, give them options, discussion ways for them to --

or those who want to, to off ramp. And then third, and you're starting to see this, then you enforce some outcomes. It doesn't have to be police

action, suspension, academic discipline. You don't get to walk a graduation. You know, parents care about that as well.

And so, I think there's -- I think what you're starting to see at the end of this week is just a little bit more creativity than this sort of, well,

these students have to be shut up. As if -- as if honestly, let's just be honest, you know, the vast majority of Americans do not support Israel's

war anymore. They're not outliers.

NEWTON: Yes, it is a cliche, isn't it? Again, I was just talking about the generational divide, but given everything you've just said, so we're

looking at the University of Minnesota, which so far looks, you know, fairly peaceful. We see some tents. And yet I'm sure you saw already what

was going on at the University of Texas at Austin. What would you say to them? That was a very heavy police presence. And again, state troopers are


KAYYEM: Yes. And it did -- it did exactly work. I mean, you now have a variety of universities as well as, there's other stakeholders as we call

them that are part of these universities that don't like to see this either. Look, I'm a professor at Harvard. I work at a university. There's

lots of protests all the time. I don't know. I mean, you know, and I, you know, you sort of can't keep track.

This one, because I think of the politics of the time, somehow is not being given the space that other protests have. It's students, most of these

protests are manageable. As many people are reporting, they're not disrupting finals. They're not yet disrupting graduation. And universities

have every right to protect their graduation. They have every duty to protect students that feel unsafe. But the law enforcement approach, I can

guarantee, is not going to work.

But in most instances, and I have to be honest with you, we just had a historian on, you know, we don't have, you know, there's history here in

this country of student protests and resulting in violence by law enforcement. And that's not good.


NEWTON: There certainly is. And of course, no one wants that. No one wants to be alarmist about what's going on either in terms of you make some very

good points. I will say, Juliette, what do you do when there is a faction of the student population that is saying, I don't want to be listening to

this. And I don't want, you know, my pathway through the quad to be obstructed.

And again, if you can just get to that issue again, not all of these people are students, some of them don't have a right to be on some of these


KAYYEM: So, I agree that I am shocked, I will tell you. So, I try not to have like a side on this in terms of like who's right who's wrong, I am

shocked at the lack of access control at these colleges and universities. It is the easiest thing to do, you demand anyone who is in the quad in a

space, whatever that they have to show their identification. I can be pretty hardcore about this step that's a legitimate right for a college and


For students who feel unsafe, the university and college have to provide alternatives to them as well as any others who may feel unsafe to ensure

that this is isolated within the university campuses, these are large campuses. It's not -- look, protest isn't like protest is meant to disrupt

right we have to recognize that. And then colleges and universities have to be just more creative in making sure everyone is feeling safe.

NEWTON: Yes. When it's safe and legal, it is an integral part of the democratic process and that's what some people are trying to get back into

this conversation that we are having. Juliette Kayyem, I will leave it there but thanks so much. Really appreciate it. And we will be back with

more news in a moment.


NEWTON: Tensions are boiling over on college campuses right around the United States today in New York. Students at Columbia University are

defying in order to vacate their encampment. That's despite suspension threats.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can see outside you now that the students are mobilized. There's hundreds of them here today. They will not be moved. We

demand divestment. We will not be moved unless by force.


NEWTON: Police arrested at least six students meantime at the University of Texas in Austin.