Greg Abbott Criticized By Texas’s Largest Newspaper For Protest ‘Posturing’

( – Texas Governor Greg Abbott was accused of “posturing” by an editorial in the Houston Chronicle for having anti-Israel protesters arrested for refusing to leave an unsanctioned protest on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin.

College students across the country have been protesting the Israel-Hamas war by setting up encampments on college campus lawns. Protesters at UT Austin made a barricade using tables and chains to enclose an area occupied by tents with “strategically placed” tools and rocks throughout the encampment. Students want the school to divest financial support from companies and weapons manufacturers that support Israel.

The protesters refused to leave after being repeatedly asked to disperse. University staff members who attempted to remove and confiscate the tents were attacked. According to university president Jay Hartzell, several people not affiliated with the school joined the protests and refused to leave. Hartzell called the Texas Department of Public Safety for assistance. Governor Abbott posted on social media that “no encampments will be allowed.” DPS arrived clad in riot gear. Protesters who ignored orders to leave were arrested for trespassing or disorderly conduct. More than fifty arrests were made.

Abbott’s response to the protests has been called “aggressive.” The editorial board at the Houston Chronicle said Abbott jumped in with “provocative language and posturing” claiming the protests were peaceful until “authorities armed with batons” intervened with force.

Jewish students on the UT Austin campus were divided on whether the protests were offensive in nature. The Jewish student union said the protests were “hateful” because they occurred on the second day of Passover. A Jewish history professor, Jeremi Suri, said the protesters were shouting but were only expressing themselves. In Suri’s opinion, the students should have been confined to one area on the lawn and allowed to “shout until they have no voices left.”

State Democrats called Abbott’s response a “campaign ad” and claimed DPS officers showed “more courage” when arresting “peaceful” college students than when an active shooter entered the Uvalde Elementary School.

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