CNN Frets ‘Escalation’ by Police Disrupted ‘Peaceful’ Students ‘Dancing’ for Hamas

During a rare moment Tuesday when CNN wasn’t obsessing over the first Trump trial, correspondent Dianne Gallagher used a live shot from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to fret police caused “a very intense escalation” with pro-Hamas students, whom she said were merely holding a “rally and silent vigil” with “dancing and chanting” amid their tent cities.

Oh, and they had torn down the American flag at the center of campus and replaced it with a Palestinian flag. And, by the way, the mostly white pro-Hamas crowd repeatedly threw water bottles and other projectiles at black police officers. Gallagher ignored the latter because reasons.

“What I can tell you is that this is a very intense escalation from how it has been for the past several hours,” Gallagher began, whining police had soured the vibes at what “was a rally and silent vigil for Palestine” and the raising of the Palestinian flag at a campus flagpole.

Alas, the fun and games were over when “a large group of police officers [came] down Polk Place and just sort of [came] for the students who had interlocking arms around this flag pole” to reinstall the American flag.

“But with the force that this was done, pushing down students, some into these barricades that were placed up this morning after police cleared an encampment that had been here on Polk Place for about 90 hours,” she fretted.

Adding the students being told early in the morning to disperse left them feeling uneasy because it had been such “a very peaceful encampment”, she revealed “about 30 people were detained” with the local district attorney telling her “that is mix of arrest and citations.”

“The University of North Carolina says that they were in violation of negotiations that have been ongoing by putting tents back up on Sunday afternoon. The university students who were at the encampment told me today that they felt like there was no real negotiation with the university. They felt like this was more of a one-sided conversation,” she countered, giving more credence to the students.

Explaining students told her “[t]hey had taken the tents down twice already” and “there had been no real discussion with the university”, she reiterated her supposedly neutral description of the “intense escalation from what we saw just 20 minutes ago or so” when “there were students dancing and chanting” to police arriving (in order to restore order).

Gallagher never explained what the pro-Palestinian students were saying or what any of their signs read. Rather, she boasted what had been happening was “incredibly peaceful and very low key” with there even having been a “silent vigil” (click “expand”):

We had lots of speakers out here earlier that we were listening to, roughly five or six hours after many of those people who were either arrested or cited were released. Now, they put barricades up after the encampment was cleared this morning, and we did see these protesters — you can see there’s a couple of skirmishes over here. We did see those protests or sort of remove those barricades after several hours of that — protests and silent vigil to come and take down the American flag, put up the Palestinian flag, and continue their chants. 

Everything that we have observed today from about noon on has been incredibly peaceful and very low key for the most part up until we saw the officers run across this lawn here. That is really the most intense energy that we have felt. I’m — I’m gonna let you kind of look at what is going on again here, but it does appear they’re just trying to raise this American flag up. I’m gonna get my photographer westward to just sort of show the growing number of students that is starting to come here to Polk Place. Now, again, this is not what the situation necessarily looked like just a few moments ago here at the University of North Carolina.

Exit question for CNN: If pro-Holocaust college students and their well-funded allies taking over campuses is “peaceful”, then what was Charlottesville?

CNN Special Report: Trump Hush Money Trial
April 30, 2024
2:40 p.m. Eastern

ERIN BURNETT: And we are watching dramatic developments unfold at college campus protests nationwide right now, Wolf.

WOLF BLITZER: I want to get right to CNN’s Dianne Gallagher. She’s on the scene for us at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. These are live pictures we’re showing our viewers right now, Dianne. Update our viewers.

DIANNE GALLAGHER: Alright, I cannot hear on IFB anymore, but I’m assuming that you are on our pictures right now. What I can tell you is that this is a very intense escalation from how it has been for the past several hours. There was a rally and silent vigil for Palestine that occurred for several — after they — I don’t know if you can see right now — they’re taking the Palestinian flag down off the flagpole, which was put up there about 30 minutes or so ago by protesters. They took the American flag down, raised the Palestinian flag. About five minutes or so ago, we saw a large group of police officers come down Polk Place and just sort of come for the students who had interlocking arms around this flag pole. It appears they’re trying to remove the Palestinian flag and re-raise an American flag up on this flagpole here. But with the force that this was done, pushing down students, some into these barricades that were placed up this morning after police cleared an encampment that had been here on Polk Place for about 90 hours. The University of North Carolina sent an e-mail, sent out a paper statement basically warning the students at 5:37 this morning, they had to clear the encampment by 6:00 a.m. Many of the students we spoke with said that they were sleeping and did not know until some faculty came down about ten minutes before six to get out. According to the university, about 30 people were detained. I spoke with the district attorney. He said that is a mix of arrest and citations. Talking to students, they say that, again, they were very surprised by this. They felt that it had been a very peaceful encampment up to that point. The University of North Carolina says that they were in violation of negotiations that have been ongoing by putting tents back up on Sunday afternoon. The university students who were at the encampment told me today that they felt like there was no real negotiation with the university. They felt like this was more of a one-sided conversation. They had taken the tents down twice already, but there had been no real discussion with the university, those students say, about their demands of divestment and disclosure of finances. Now, they say that — that is why they put those tents back up on Sunday afternoon, what the university deemed as that violation for them to go and clear the encampment this morning. The students again saying there was no real honest negotiation, they felt, with the school and that was why they kept those up. Now, again, this is an intense escalation from what we saw just 20 minutes ago or so, there were students dancing and chanting. You can now hear other students coming and staying USA, USA. We’re seeing more students now come to Polk Place. This sort of green area where we’d actually been seeing sort a decrease in people out here. They were finishing for the day. We had lots of speakers out here earlier that we were listening to, roughly five or six hours after many of those people who were either arrested or cited were released. Now, they put barricades up after the encampment was cleared this morning, and we did see these protesters — you can see there’s a couple of skirmishes over here. We did see those protests or sort of remove those barricades after several hours of that — protests and silent vigil to come and take down the American flag, put up the Palestinian flag, and continue their chants. Everything that we have observed today from about noon on has been incredibly peaceful and very low key for the most part up until we saw the officers run across this lawn here. That is really the most intense energy that we have felt. I’m — I’m gonna let you kind of look at what is going on again here, but it does appear they’re just trying to raise this American flag up. I’m gonna get my photographer westward to just sort of show the growing number of students that is starting to come here to Polk Place. Now, again, this is not what the situation necessarily looked like just a few moments ago here at the University of North Carolina.

BURNETT: All right, Dianne Gallagher showing us these images. You know, of course, at the beginning when we were seeing those police come in to try to reach voice that American flags, some of those images Diane had were really dramatic. Kids sort of being thrown out from that coordinate of police officers from what we could see, a few of them and now, chanting and it looks like a — police are re-raising that American flag. A very dynamic situation at UNC-Chapel Hill. Our Dianne Gallagher is there. We’re going to be checking back in with that here over these next few moments.

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