79 demonstrators arrested Monday during UT Austin protests

The Texas Department of Public Safety and Austin Police Department responded to a fourth day of pro-Palestine rallies on the university’s South Mall Lawn.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story stated at least 100 people were arrested Monday. This article has since been updated to provide the most recent information.

More than 70 demonstrators have been arrested during pro-Palestine, anti-war protests on the University of Texas at Austin campus following a series of rallies Monday.

According to the Travis County Sheriff’s Office, the University of Texas Police Department arrested 75 protestors yesterday and the Austin Police Department arrested five, for a total of 79. 

78 of those arrested have been charged with Criminal Trespass, and one of the 78 has also been charged with Obstructing a Highway or Passageway.

Only one person has been charged with Interfering with Public Duties. 

As of Tuesday morning, groups have been gathering in front of the Travis County Jail to wait for the possible release of those who are currently behind bars. 

“Having all of these people here at the jail gives the inmates hope, first of all,” witness Michael Rice said. 

“And second of all, it shows that the protest isn’t just a one-day thing, it isn’t just something that’ll die down or simmer out. It’s something that continues to stand, it’s a problem that continues to plague our nation and we won’t stop.” 

Last week, Rice’s girlfriend was one of more than 50 demonstrators who were taken into custody Wednesday during the first day of protests. 

As of Tuesday morning, releases from the Travis County Jail have not yet been made. 

Monday’s protests

The most recent arrests come after the fourth day of protests at UT Austin’s campus, as many demonstrators set up tent encampments Monday afternoon on the university’s South Mall Lawn. 

At approximately 1:30 p.m., members of the Austin Police Department and Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) troopers responded to the protests with flash bangs and pepper spray, in an attempt to break up gathering crowds. 

At the same time, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott posted to X, stating: “No encampments will be allowed. Instead, arrests are being made.” 

Some protestors then attempted to block police from making arrests, shouting, “We don’t want you here” and more. 

The university has since released a statement in response to Monday’s arrests which said, in part, “Because of the encampments and other violations of the University’s Institutional Rules related to protests, protestors were told repeatedly to disperse, When they refused to disperse, some arrests were made for trespassing. Others were arrested for disorderly conduct.” 

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