Paris police peacefully remove pro-Palestinian student protesters

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Students from Sciences Po in Paris, who were protesting in support of Palestinians, were peacefully evacuated by French police, echoing similar actions in the US amidst the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.

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French police peacefully evacuated dozens of students on Friday from a building of the Paris Institute of Political Studies, known as Sciences Po.

The students had gathered there in support of Palestinians, echoing similar encampments and solidarity demonstrations across the United States.

Protestors waved Palestinian flags and chanted slogans in support of residents of Gaza, as Israel continues its offensive following the deadly October 7 Hamas-led attack that triggered the Israel-Hamas war.

The Sciences Po building had been occupied since Thursday evening. The university administration had closed the main buildings and moved classes online.

Pro-Palestinian students were planning to hold a protest later Friday in front of the Pantheon monument, near the elite Sorbonne University, to call for an end to Israel’s offensive in Gaza.

On Thursday, similar protests took place in some other universities across the country, including in Lille and Lyon.

The Prime Minister’s Office said police had been requested to remove students from 23 sites on French campuses on Thursday and “all were evacuated within a few hours”.

Police presence will be maintained near Sciences Po to prevent any further blockades, it said in a statement.

Last week, tensions broke out near the elite university, which counts President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Gabriel Attal among its many famous alumni. 

Pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli demonstrators faced each other in a standoff in the street outside Sciences Po. Riot police stepped in to separate the groups.

The protest ended peacefully as pro-Palestinian students agreed to leave.



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