Yale arrests 47 protesters calling for military weapons divestment

Dozens of demonstrators have been arrested on the campus of Yale University after refusing to leave the school’s Beinecke Plaza during a mass protest that began over the weekend. File Photo by Peter Foley/EPA-EFE

April 22 (UPI) -- Dozens of demonstrators were arrested on the campus of Yale University after refusing to leave the school's Beinecke Plaza during a mass protest, the university said Monday.

Hundreds of protestors gathered over the weekend, demanding the academic institution divest itself of its investments in military weapons manufacturers.

Police officers began gathering around 6 a.m. EDT Monday before moving into the plaza to speak with demonstrators, the Yale News reported.

Approximately 30 Officers began issuing warnings in an attempt to disperse the crowd around 6:40 a.m. Several demonstrators then began gathering closely around the plaza's flagpole.

Police eventually handed out 47 summons to people who refused, the school confirmed in a statement.

Those who were arrested were processed a short distance away and later released on a promise to appear in court.

Yale said it would also consider internal disciplinary hearings.

The school initially issued a statement Sunday warning protestors of the need to pack up tents and other temporary structures.

"This is part of a formal process and relies on the university's guide to ethical investing that has served Yale well for decades. Any member of the Yale community is invited to write to the ACIR or to attend future open meetings," Yale President Peter Salovey wrote in the statement.

"There are available pathways to continue this discussion with openness and civility, and I urge those with suggestions to follow them."

That didn't fully quell the event, which saw post-graduate students and some staff members attend, in addition to undergraduates.

"We don't need Beinecke to occupy. Let's get performances going, let's get speakers going," one protester began yelling at around 10:50 a.m., following the arrests, according to a Yale News reporter.

The arrests come the same day Columbia University canceled all in-person classes on campus after officials scrambled to deal with rising discontent in the student population amid Israel's war against Hamas in Gaza.

Last week, the University of Southern California confirmed it was dropping all outside speakers from its commencement ceremony after a controversy involving its valedictorian.

USC previously canceled an address by Muslim valedictorian Asna Tabassum, citing security concerns ahead of the main graduation.