Faculty at the University at Buffalo call for all charges to be dropped against arrested protesters

Faculty at the University at Buffalo are at odds with the administration's response to protests that have been held on campus in recent days. 

University at Buffalo faculty are calling on administrators to drop all charges against the 15 protesters who were arrested during the May 1 demonstration on campus, NBC WGRZ reported. A letter, which has garnered over 200 signatures, was sent to University President Satish K. Tripathi, stating faculty were "deeply disturbed" by the decision "to violently escalate the peaceful protest that students organized on May 1st."

In addition to having the charges dropped, the faculty members want the University at Buffalo to conduct a public review of university protocols tied to policing, WGRZ reported. The outlet previously reported that of the 15 demonstrators who were arrested during Wednesday's protest, eight people were unaffiliated with UB, while seven were students.

"Around fifty protestors assembled to protest the war in Gaza and support divestment on the lawn outside Hochstetter Hall on UB’s North campus. The gathering was entirely peaceful and students were well organized," part of the letter said. "When told that erecting tents for an encampment would lead to their arrest, students reorganized the gathering immediately to comply with the policy. Furthermore, the order that students disperse after sundown – cited as 8:22 pm by law enforcement officers at the protest – was ad hoc, dangerous and discriminatory. The official university policy barring overnight picketing and assembly does not mention sundown."

"The sundown deadline for arrest coincided with Maghrib, Muslim evening prayer, which police seemed unaware of until informed by the protesters," the letter added. "The rules about student protests were being updated in real time on the day of the protest, appearing discriminatory and making it difficult for even the most informed students to comply."

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