Senator John Fetterman of Pennsylvania praised the president of the University of Florida for his anti-Israel protest response

Senator John Fetterman of Pennsylvania praised the president of the University of Florida for his anti-Israel protest response

Democratic Senator John Fetterman of PennsylvaniaSenator John Fetterman of Pennsylvania praised the president of the University of Florida for his anti-Israel protest response
Democratic Senator John Fetterman of Pennsylvania (file)

The University of Florida (UF) made headlines when a series of protests broke out on campus, leading to the arrest of several individuals.

University of Florida officials, led by former Republican Senate President Ben Sasse, quickly responded to the protests and issued warnings about prohibited activities during demonstrations.

“What we tell all our students, protesters and non-protesters, is that there are two things that we are going to affirm again and again: we will always defend your right to freedom of speech and free assembly,” Sasse said Sunday on CNN’s ‘ State of the Union.”

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“We also have limitations in terms of time, place and manner of doing things, and you cannot take over the entire university. People are not allowed to spit at officers. You are not allowed to barricade yourself in buildings. You cannot disrupt someone else’s start,” he said.

At least one Democrat agrees.

Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman joined Brett Baer on Fox News on Tuesday in praising UF President Sasse for responding to anti-Israel protesters.

“I thought he was right about that. It’s like we can have protesters, we can have a space to allow that, but you can’t take over, you know, we’re not going to listen to or respond to or allow the fringe or the kind of the loudest voices to respond to that respond,” Fetterman said.

“And it’s like you can’t have any damage. You are not allowed to spit on police officers. You can’t allow things to happen. I thought it should be exactly that way. I mean, it’s a true American value for freedom of speech. But what you have now manifested on the campuses is not that,” said Fetterman.

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The university made it clear that it would not tolerate any form of violence, threats or disruptions. Students and employees who violated these rules faced serious consequences, including suspension and dismissal.

“This isn’t complicated: The University of Florida is not a daycare center, and we don’t treat protesters like children – they knew the rules, they broke the rules and will face the consequences,” university spokesman Steve Orlando said in the statement.

The statement said “many” protesters on campus were “outside agitators” and university police had reminded protesters of the restrictions.

According to the university, protesters who engage in “clearly prohibited activities” will be issued a trespassing order by police to university buildings, as well as an “interim” suspension from UF.

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A document released last week and widely shared on social media outlined both permitted protest activities and prohibited measures. Speaking, ‘expressing views’ and ‘holding signs’ were all listed as acceptable activities.

The use of amplified sound, demonstrations within buildings, camping, construction work, interruptions, threats and violence were all prohibited acts.

Despite the warnings, nine individuals were arrested by the University Police Department (UPD) and the Florida Highway Patrol. The charges ranged from failure to obey a lawful order to trespass after warning. One protester was even charged with battery after spitting on an officer.

Gov. Ron DeSantis praised Florida UF’s response to the protest during a news conference in Naples Tuesday morning.

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“The University of Florida, the state of Florida, our universities have been very strong in saying, ‘You can say whatever you want, but you don’t have the right to take territory, you don’t have the right to harass students or faculty. traps. or something like that. And if you do violate the code of conduct, we will show you the door. You will be expelled,” DeSantis said.

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