Biden Condemns ‘Chaos’ on College Campuses as Students Protest

biden on student protests

The president spoke about the demonstrations from the White House on Thursday, saying they are not influencing his policy toward Israel

President Joe Biden delivered unscheduled remarks from the White House on Thursday, addressing the wave of pro-Palestine demonstrations taking place on university campuses across the nation.

Biden emphasized that the United States is a “freedom-loving nation” and that “dissent is essential to democracy” … just not this kind of dissent. “It’s against the law when violence occurs,” he said. “Destroying property is not a peaceful protest. It’s against the law. Vandalism. Trespassing. Breaking windows. Shutting down campuses. Forcing the cancellation of classes and graduation. None of this is a peaceful protest.”

“Dissent must never lead to disorder or to denying the rights of others so students can finish the semester and their college education,” he added.

Students have been protesting Israel’s assault on Gaza for weeks now, most notably at Columbia University, where students took control of a building earlier this week only to be forcibly removed and arrested by the New York City Police Department. Law enforcement officers have been cracking down on demonstrations at campuses around the nation, routinely brutalizing protesters in the process. The brutalization escalated Wednesday night, with cops appearing to fire rubber bullets at protesters at UCLA. A day earlier, pro-Israel counter-protesters violently attacked a pro-Palestine encampment at the school.

Some Republicans have called for Biden to send the National Guard onto college campuses to break up the demonstrations. Biden was asked on Thursday if he would do so. He said no.


Biden was also asked if the protests are influencing his approach to Israel. The United States has been sending military aid to Israel since Hamas attacked it on Oct. 7, and has continued to do so despite the death toll in Gaza, accusations of human rights violations by the Israeli military, and ongoing international criminal investigations into Israel’s offensive on Gaza.

Biden said no.

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