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The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

UT Austin pro-Palestine encampment dismantled by law enforcement, over 100 protesters arrested: timeline

Lorianne Willett

Law enforcement arrested at least 100 people today after protesters formed an encampment in support of Palestine on South Mall. 

The event follows similar encampments at college campuses around the nation and a Wednesday protest that resulted in 57 arrests, though all charges from Wednesday were dropped.

12:45 p.m. 

Around 50 people form an encampment in the center of the South Mall. They start chanting variations of “free Palestine” as some erect a few tents in the middle of the circle. 

1:10 p.m

The UT Police Department issues its first dispersal notice to those gathered in the encampment, warning them they are violating Texas Penal Codes concerning disorderly conduct and will be arrested if they do not leave. 

1:20 p.m. 

UTPD officers start barricading the Main Mall and the Tower. 

1:30 p.m.

Over 50 Department of Public Safety officers assemble near the South Mall. The crowd has grown to over 100 people.  

“I’ve heard them say that there were state troopers coming, and that’s what I feared the most,” an anonymous protester said. “It’s like, why are (they) scared of students?”

1:42 p.m.

Around 25 more DPS officers arrive on campus and join the others circling the encampment. 

1:45 p.m. 

The first person is detained, zip tied and removed from the encampment. Within the next ten minutes, at least five more people are arrested. 

2:05 p.m 

Remaining protesters in the encampment sit down. Two tents remain.

2:06 p.m.

State troopers enter the encampment. 

2:38 p.m. 

Councilmember Zo Quadri tweets that he is “dismayed” to see APD on campus. He and Councilmembers Chito Vela and Ryan Alter requested an executive session legal briefing on APD’s role in the two protests. 

2:40 p.m.

UTPD sends the third and final dispersal warning to the crowd. 

3:21 p.m. 

About 20 to 30 protesters remain in the encampment. Roughly 20 more police officers enter the encampment and continue making arrests. Law enforcement creates pathways for medics to remove people, but they prevent protesters from accessing water unless they leave the encampment, many of whom are overheating, 

4:03 p.m. 

Law enforcement have detained all protesters in the encampment. 

4:10 p.m.

Twenty-five students form a barricade at Inner Campus Drive, attempting to block a bus transporting arrested protesters. Law enforcement announces protesters have “two minutes” to clear, and then drive motorcycles into the protester barricade. 

4:32 p.m. 

Law enforcement starts pepper spraying protesters. Two flash bangs are set off.

“I had no idea this absolute monstrosity of a response was what was on the horizon,” said Bethany Epstein, a physics graduate student who was pepper sprayed by police twice during today’s protests.

4:55 p.m.

Protestors start to reoccupy South Mall, where police presence has greatly diminished. Law enforcement retreats east. 

5:00 p.m.

At least 43 arrests have been confirmed, said George Lobb with the Austin Lawyers Guild. He said the total amount of arrests should be finalized within the next 24 hours. 

5:15 p.m.

State troopers, Austin police and UTPD reverse an off-route CapMetro bus down Inner Campus Drive, while protesters follow it chanting, “fuck you, fascists.”

5:29 p.m. 

Arrested protesters temporarily held in the Tower are transferred to a Travis County Sheriff’s Department bus by law enforcement. 

6:08 p.m. 

Law enforcement deploys more pepper spray against protesters gathered by the Flawn Academic Center. 

“We are facing a small fraction of everything Palestinians have been facing since October, so it’s vital that we keep some perspective here,” Epstein said. “Fundamentally, this is a protest — it’s not about us.”

6:30 p.m.

State troopers and APD exit campus while UTPD retreats into the Tower. Protestors return to South Mall carrying Palestine flags and posters. Some bring the dismantled barricade that blocked off the Tower from the demonstration. There is no law enforcement occupying the area. 

Over 100 protesters have been arrested and are being transported to the Travis County Jail, according to Travis County officials, as reported by Tony Plohetski. 

7:37 p.m.

The UT Austin Faculty and Staff for Justice in Palestine releases a statement condemning the University’s “military-style” response to the demonstrations. They said the actions were “especially egregious” because of the “unprecedented brutality” individuals faced at last Wednesday’s protest. 

“Being punished for standing up for what you believe in is not our Texas,” another anonymous protester said.

8:14 p.m.

The University said it took action against the protesters to “preserve a safe, conducive learning environment,” and it reaffirmed its support of free speech.

8:53 p.m.

Protesters gather on South Mall in a circle, eating and sitting on blankets. There are no tents present. About eight UTPD officers remain near the Tower.


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About the Contributor
Lorianne Willett, Photo Editor
Lorianne is a Journalism and Global Sustainability junior from San Antonio, Texas. Currently, she is the Photo Editor. In her free time, she enjoys reading and playing tennis.