Perhaps because it happened at a state school rather than an Ivy League university, it hasn't yet gotten a lot of press attention, but campus police at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst arrested 56 students and one staff member in the early morning hours of October 26, according to a report by WBUR and a statement from the office of the U. Mass. chancellor, Javier Reyes. The statement says the protesters were arrested "for refusing a lawful order to depart a university building after it was closed." WBUR says the students were demanding that Reyes "condemn the Israel Defense Forces' attacks on Gaza and cut the university's ties with defense contractor Raytheon Technology."
As at Dartmouth, where the new president, Sian Leah Beilock, had the Hanover police arrest a couple of anti-Israel protesters who threatened "physical action," the U. Mass Amherst action is a welcome signal from the grownups that they are the ones in charge of the university, and that they are not going to allow their institutions to be hijacked by a lawless mob. As I said about Dartmouth, these are moments, in institutions across America, where clarity and firmness are necessary as a way of advancing the mission of teaching and learning, including moral education. It's been widely noticed that the U. Mass president, Marty Meehan, is with John King of SUNY and the presidents of Yeshiva University, Brandeis, and Notre Dame a founding signer of the "We Stand United With Israel Against Hamas" coalition letter.
The First Amendment freedoms of speech and assembly are sacrosanct. Yet these are educational institutions, and if they are to succeed in their educational mission they'll need to enforce the rule of law. University administrators that are too reluctant to call in the cops as needed to enforce reasonable, content-neutral limits on the behavior of Hamas-sympathizing, anti-Israel protesters will find their international reputation declining to that of the Islamic University of Gaza. Actions by Republicans like Governor Desantis and University of Florida President Ben Sasse have gotten plenty of praise from the pro-Israel community. It's worth noting that even in Amherst, which sits in the left-leaning Pioneer Valley of a Democrat-dominated state, there are education leaders who know right from wrong and are willing to use force, when necessary, to maintain order on campus. Sometimes the police can teach what the professors can't.