UT Austin Palestine protest: Demonstrators criticize response, call for Hartzell resignation

UT faculty along with the Palestine Solidarity Committee planned a second day of protests at the University of Texas at Austin on Thursday. Almost 60 people were arrested during Wednesday's demonstration on campus.

Protestors have gathered in front of the UT Tower and have been chanting many of the same slogans from the day before, including "Free Free Palestine" and some aimed directly at UT Austin President Jay Hartzell and Austin police.

Many have stepped forward to speak, including one of the protestors arrested, Chas Moore of the Austin Justice Coalition, Austin City Council member Zohaib "Zo" Qadri, and U.S. Rep Greg Casar (D-TX).

Pro-Israel protestors have also gathered in response, waving Israeli flags and carrying posters.

UT faculty posted on X condemning the response to Wednesday's rally saying, "Instead of allowing our students to go ahead with their peaceful planned action, our leaders turned our campus into a militarized zone."

They continued, "There can be no business as usual when our campus is occupied by city police and state troopers who are preventing our students from engaging in a peaceful demonstration of their first amendment rights."

The Palestine Solidarity Committee said on Instagram, "We join our faculty's call to continue to protest in the face of oppression! We call on our community to resist the draconian tactics of intimidation employed by our university and to reaffirm our demands tomorrow."


The group is demanding an end to the war, the divestment of university funds from the systems responsible for the war, the adoption of clearer investment practices by the university and the resignation of Hartzell.

Originally the Texas State Employee's Union was set to hold a rally at that time, but says they have ceded the space and time to Faculty & Staff for Justice in Palestine. Their rally will instead be held on Monday, April 29.

"We do not condone the arrests & actions of State Troopers on our campus during a peaceful protest," said the union on social media.