Two injuries were officially reported and one protestor has been charged with assault following May 2nd's police intervention on the SUNY New Paltz Pro-Palestinian encampment.

SUNY New Paltz Pro-Palestinian Protests

On Wednesday, May 1st, students, faculty, and staff at SUNY New Paltz launched an encampment demonstrating support for Palestine. Demonstrators settled in Parker Quad with tents, food stations, and art stations.

Demands of the protest included SUNY New Paltz divesting from companies that are, "responsible for the genocide in Palestine."

Read more about the beginnings of the encampment here: Hudson Valley Colleges Launch Pro-Palestinian Encampments

On Tuesday, May 2nd, the administration made an offer to protestors that should they remove tents from Parker Quad by 7 PM, amnesty would be granted with the opportunity for 10 students to speak with the administration on developing a plan forward.

Demonstrators maintained their stance of, "disclose, divest, and disengage," and remained on Parker Quad.

In response, New York State Troopers and New York State Police were ordered to the SUNY New Paltz campus and began intervening around 9:00 PM on Tuesday, May 2nd.

Police Intervene on SUNY New Paltz Campus

Hudson Valley Post was on the scene as police arrived at SUNY New Paltz. Over 150 police were ordered to the campus. Students from around the campus observed, documenting the evening on social media.

As police arrived at Parker Quad, protestors formed a human chain, linking arms and sitting on the ground. Police began pulling up protestors, removing them from the quad with the use of riot batons and zip ties.

Arrests continued into the night, concluding with one final rush of police towards protestors a little after 1 AM on Friday, May 3rd.

See more footage from the evening here: Pro-Palestinian Demonstrators Arrested at SUNY New Paltz [VIDEO]

Once Parker Quad was clear of protestors and students, an excavator vehicle was driven onto the quad, collecting the items left behind by protestors.

The items collected by the excavator vehicle were thrown in dumpsters. According to students, aside from tents and food, these leftover items are said to have included backpacks containing laptops, phones, and medications.

Aftermath at SUNY New Paltz

Following the night of arrests, the Student Association shared that the Spring Fest Block Party and Concert, originally scheduled for Saturday, May 4th, would be canceled.

Groups of students and alumni have organized efforts to call for the removal of SUNY New Paltz President Wheeler following the show of police force on campus.

128 staff and faculty members of SUNY New Paltz have signed a "Letter Objecting Police Response at SUNY New Paltz," denouncing the use of, "excessive force in the police response, activated by state officials." 

 President Wheeler released a statement sharing, 

In retrospect, I wish that my message of May 3 had focused first on supporting members of our community who have experienced trauma over the last few months and days rather than moving immediately to focusing on the path forward.

Pres. Wheeler stated that he has no intention of resigning but that he is, "committed to staying in this dialogue and fully exploring [students'] concerns."

Injuries and Arrests at SUNY New Paltz

There were two officially reported injuries resulting from the night of unrest. One civilian protestor sustained injuries while being arrested and was transported to a local hospital.

One New York State Police Investigator was treated at a local hospital, receiving stitches for a facial laceration caused by a thrown metal bottle.

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132 protestors and one reporter were arrested on the night of May 2nd. Nearly all arrested were released with the exception of the one protestor charged with throwing the metal bottle that injured the aforementioned Police Investigator.

On May 8th, 2024, the New York State Police announced the arrest of a 20-year-old male from New City, New York.

O'Brien, the arrested protestor, was charged with Assault 2nd, Reckless Endangerment 2nd, Criminal Possession of a Weapon 4th, Disorderly Conduct and Trespass and was arraigned by the Town of Plattekill Court. His cash bail was set at $5,000 after being remanded to Ulster County Jail.

We have yet to hear about the condition of the protestor injured while being arrested but will update when more information is made available.

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