Pro-Palestinian protesters gather on Arizona State University's Tempe campus

Pro-Palestinian protesters have gathered on Arizona State University's Tempe campus on Friday morning.

Three people have been arrested, they have been identified as Michael Clancy, Harry Smith and William Whitmire who were all charged with criminal trespass. It was not made clear if they were students or not.

Video taken by SkyFOX shows the protesters gathering in an area known as the "Old Main," which is located along University Drive. One protester was seen waving the Palestinian flag, and at one point, some of the protesters formed a human chain around an encampment.

Video taken by our photographer in the area shows a small group of people waving the Israeli flag.

Protesters include current and past students, as well as community members. A list of their demands from an X (formerly Twitter) account promoting the event include items like ASU ending all research exchanges and partnerships with Israel, abolishing ASU Police and Tempe Police, and a call for the university's president, Michael Crow, to resign immediately.

"It’s sad what’s happening in Gaza right now. It’s just on another level of being so terrible," said protester Waleed Zaitoun. "The message I want to send to ASU is stop the funding."

It is unclear how long the protesters intend to remain in the area. Protesters can also be seen on an ASU webcam in the area.

University and state officials respond to protest

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In a statement, ASU said encampments on their property are prohibited unless they are part of a university-sanctioned activity.

"Individuals found setting up unapproved encampments will be directed to dismantle them immediately. Failure to comply may result in being trespassed from campus and possible arrest. We prioritize the safety and well-being of the campus community and uphold policies to ensure a welcoming environment for everyone," read a portion of the statement.

University officials also say this is not an issue linked to the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

In a separate statement, officials with the Hillel Jewish Student Center at ASU said ASU and Tempe Police are "actively engaged at the site," and they are in close communication with the two agencies.

"With all of this disruption here on campus and nationwide, we want to make sure not to lose sight of the importance of active, supportive Jewish life on campus. Tonight’s Senior Shabbat will go on as planned, and we will have extra security present to ensure a safe space for our students to gather here at Hillel. Our graduating students began their college experience during the pandemic and are leaving during war and unprecedented national campus unrest; Hillel has been by their side through it all, and we will continue to provide them with the support they need, and deserve, as always," a portion of the statement reads.

A spokesperson for Gov. Katie Hobbs said the government has been in contact with university presidents, and "expressed the state's willingness to support them in ensuring a safe and secure campus environment." The spokesperson also said while the government supports the right to free speech and peaceful protest, she "strongly opposes any calls to boycott and divest from Israel, attacks on Israel's right to exist, demands to abolish the police, or rhetoric that supports or encourages violence."

Protests taking place on university campuses across the US

The protest at ASU's Tempe campus came amid similar protests elsewhere, such as Atlanta, Austin, New York City, and Washington D.C.

At least one university canceled their main stage commencement ceremony as a result of pro-Palestinian protests.

The protests came amid the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas terrorists. According to the Anti-Defamation League, antisemitic incidents in the U.S. more than doubled last year, which they attributed to the Oct. 7, 2023 attack by Hamas in Israel.

The ADL has been criticized for counting campus protests against Israel’s actions in Gaza and criticisms of those actions as antisemitic incidents. However, the organization defends its methodology, stating that it considers cases involving the "glorification of terrorist groups and extreme anti-Zionism" in its assessments.

Meanwhile, the Council on American-Islamic Relations reported a record-breaking 8,061 complaints of anti-Muslim incidents nationwide in 2023, the highest number in the organization's 30-year history.

Where are the protesters gathered at?