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Texas Governor Greg Abbott promises that the demands of student protesters in Gaza will “NEVER” be met. That's how we got here.

Governor of Texas. Greg Abbott issued a defiant statement Sunday vowing to address student protesters' demands at the University of Texas at Austin for the school to divest from companies that make weapons for Israel and calling for the resignation of UT President Jay Hartzell , “NEVER happen”.

“This will NEVER happen,” Abbott wrote on X about the demands. “The only thing that will happen is that the university and the state will use all law enforcement measures to quickly end illegal protests on campus that clearly violate Texas state law and university policies.”

The University of Texas at Austin is one of dozens of schools across the country where students have set up camps, clashed with police and made demands for divestment in response to Israel's military campaign against Hamas in Gaza.

On Sunday, about 300 protesters gathered on the campus's South Lawn to press their call for divestment. They believe that through these investments the university is helping to finance the war in Gaza.

Sunday's protest ended peacefully as speakers told participants how to safely leave the site. However, it was not without tension.

Sunday's demonstration was the latest in more than a week of protests on campus that escalated on April 24 when police pepper-sprayed the crowd to clear protest encampments on the South Lawn.

The Palestine Solidarity Committee, which organized the April 24 protest, said it was following in the footsteps of students demanding justice in Palestine across the country, including at Columbia University, the University of Southern California and others.

The university maintains that protesters were arrested for violating institutional rules that outline the school's protocols for peaceful protests. This includes the establishment of camps and the alleged harassment of police officers and personnel. But organizers claim police arrests and violence have escalated.

According to KUT News in Austin, over 140 people have been arrested since protests escalated on April 24. Abbott made no secret of his support for the arrests and applauded the university's president, Jay Hartzell, who called in police officers to manage the situation and make arrests when necessary.

According to the Palestine Solidarity Committee, the students' demands consist of three main points:

1. That UT Austin divest millions of dollars that go to companies that make weapons for Israel that are used against Palestinians in Gaza.

2. That UT Austin grant full amnesty to all student protesters who were arrested and to lift their suspension to members of the Palestine Solidarity Committee.

3. That Hartzell resign as university president, effective immediately. After the police arrests on April 24, more than 600 faculty members signed a letter expressing that they had “no confidence” in his leadership.

Anna Harden

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