Issue 05 20 2024


Despite admin’s silence, community supports 21 arrested at ‘Gaza Liberation Plaza’ | May 20, 2024

In a historic first, UTD administration called in law enforcement with riot gear to destroy the “Gaza Liberation Plaza” encampment while arresting 21 students, faculty, alumni and community members. Despite outcry across the UTD community, administration has not responded to demands to drop legal charges and disciplinary action against those arrested. 

UTD professor reflects on arrest, experiences of ‘UTD 21’ | May 20, 2024

While attempting to reduce the tension between encroaching police and student protesters, UTD history professor Ben Wright was arrested alongside two other colleagues on May 1 at the “Gaza Liberation Plaza” encampment. 

‘They are just kids!’  | May 20, 2024

Assistant professor of art history Ali Alibhai rushed to protect student protesters from what he saw as a militarized police force armed with weapons and willing to harm the protesters gathered at the encampment on May 1. His efforts to de-escalate and protect students were quickly quashed as police attacked, arrested and later chained him. 

Meet the admin | May 20, 2024

State troopers slammed our own students and faculty into the ground, aiming to destroy not just their encampment but their spirit. The administration’s response to the “Gaza Liberation Plaza” on May 1 normalizes military-grade violence against student expression, leaving a bloody specter over all future student protests and expressions on UTD’s campus.  

Hiding in plain sight: how administration obfuscates its intent  | May 20, 2024

UTD administration had 21 students, staff, alumni and community members arrested, but not once has the administration pointed to a specific part of UTD or UT System policy that the arrested individuals violated. Administration has fundamentally failed to listen to its students and has instead established a grossly restrictive and prescriptive policy.  

Editorial Comic 05 20 2024 | May 20, 2024

May 1-3 coverage

From the ground: Gaza Liberation Plaza | May 13, 2024

As Palestinian solidarity encampments pop up across dozens of U.S. college campuses, UTD’s own Gaza Liberation Plaza joined a long running student-led campaign of activism calling for cease-fire and divestment.

Comets create encampment in solidarity with Gaza | May 1, 2024

Students established a solidarity encampment with Gaza at the Chess Plaza, surrounded by walls made of cardboard, plywood and tires with a sign reading “Free Palestine: all the walls will fall.” State and local police forces arrived 4 p.m., tearing down the encampment and arresting at least 16 students and three professors less than 12 hours after the encampment’s creation. 

Law enforcement raids pro-Palestine encampment, arrests students and faculty | May 1, 2024

Less than 12 hours after pro-Palestine student activists formed the “Gaza Liberation Plaza” encampment in UTD’s Chess Plaza, local police and state troopers stormed the event, dismantling the tents and barricades constructed throughout the day and arresting student and faculty protesters. 

Comets, community members demand return of 21 individuals detained overnight at Collin County Jail | May 2, 2024

Nine students, three professors, one alum and eight community members were arrested after state troopers and local police stormed UTD’s “Gaza Liberation Plaza” encampment at 4 p.m. May 1. Officers transported the detainees to Collin County Jail, where they remained until the evening of May 2. 

Collin County Jail releases detained protesters, families rejoice | May 3, 2024

As of 4:30 p.m. May 2, all 21 individuals arrested and detained at Collin County Jail after Texas law enforcement’s May 1 raid of UTD’s “Gaza Liberation Plaza” encampment were released. 

Solidarity: letters in response to May 1 encampment arrests | May 5, 2024

The following are letters, emails and petitions that were written in response to law enforcement’s raid of UTD’s “Gaza Liberation Plaza” encampment, where 21 individuals were arrested. These documents have not been modified or edited by The Mercury. This article will be updated as new signatures are collected or additional letters are published.

  • The professors and students should receive an apology and reinstated as professors. Not be treated like criminals. Refunded any expenses caused by this.
    Completely inexcusable. There was not a known threat. And because of this there were meetings and classes that could not follow through with.
    And why would the president of UTD be meeting with a known Nazi supporter?
    So many questions as to how this happened.

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