GOP senator blasts UAW’s call for release of arrested protesters

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) on Friday slammed the United Auto Workers (UAW) union’s call for the release of students and university employees arrested as part of pro-Palestine protests at campuses across the country.

“They’re demanding the release of their criminal members who broke the law & threatened the safety of students,” Cassidy said in a post on the social platform X. “This is promoting an extremist rot that is taking over our colleges.”

UAW President Shawn Fain criticized the mass arrest of college protesters earlier this week, emphasizing the union’s support for a long-term cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war.

“The UAW will never support the mass arrest or intimidation of those exercising their right to protest, strike, or speak out against injustice,” Fain said Wednesday. “Our union has been calling for a ceasefire for six months.”

“This war is wrong, and this response against students and academic workers, many of them UAW members, is wrong,” he continued. “We call on the powers that be to release the students and employees who have been arrested, and if you can’t take the outcry, stop supporting this war.”

Following the lead of Columbia University, demonstrators at other campuses have formed encampments in recent weeks to protest Israel’s war campaign in Gaza and urge their universities to divest from Israeli companies or defense companies supplying weapons to Israel.

More than 2,000 people have been arrested at campus protests across the country since April 18, according to The Associated Press.

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