Scuffle breaks out at University of Washington pro-Palestine protest

As many pro-Palestine protestors filled up the University of Washington campus, tensions rose as right-wing speaker Charlie Kirk hosted an event at the HUB.

The demonstrations came amid escalating conflict surrounding the Israel-Hamas war, which has drawn a gathering of individuals expressing solidarity with Palestine.

One of the protests temporarily shut down the Link Light Rail station at UW, located near Husky Stadium. The other was at the UW Quad, where a scuffle broke out after Kirk’s speech.

Some protestors were there to support an ongoing encampment at the UW Quad, which has been there for over a week. The crowd remained relatively calm for most of the afternoon, with demonstrators explaining why they were coming out.

"This is a part of Israel's genocidal project, we are here to recenter and refocus on Gaza, on Rafah, and to bring the messaging of why the students are protesting, what they are protesting in the encampments. We are here to uplift the students, we are here to support them," said Hossam Nasr with the group Palestinian Youth Movement.

"It's a crime of genocide, and we are here to stand in complete solidarity with the resistance against this invasion," said Taylor Young with the Shut It Down Coalition.

The encampment movement, inspired by a protest initiated at Columbia University, has gained momentum, although some colleges have taken measures to address such gatherings. Just this Tuesday, an encampment at the University of Chicago was cleared by authorities.

Right-wing speaker Charlie Kirk holds speech at UW

The protests picked up around the same time Charlie Kirk, founder of Turning Point USA, gave a speech at the university.

There was a long line to get into the HUB and hundreds of students were unable to get in, as the event was at capacity.

Some in the crowd interacted with protesters who were blocking the stairs to the Quad with barricades and signs.

The two groups exchanged words and there was some posturing, but the bulk of the crowd cleared out near the HUB.

Around 7:45 p.m., a scuffle broke out near the protest and punches were thrown. Shortly after, police arrived.

Then, around 8:30 p.m., pepper spray or mace was deployed by people in the crowd.

Some on social media indicated that Charlie Kirk had encouraged those at his speech to allow their voices to be heard. Some were seen chanting "Trump!" and "occupation has got to go!" at the pro-Palestine protestors.

Despite most of the crowd dispersing, some protesters remained on site throughout the night.

This is a developing story; check back for updates.


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