Anti-Israel protesters tried their games in Florida and you can already enjoy the mugshots

Ten anti-Israel “protesters,” four of them students, were arrested at the University of South Florida (USF) on Tuesday.

Around 75 to 100 “protesters” equipped with umbrellas, wooden shields, and tents showed up for an event organized by the Tampa Bay Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), according to Tampa station WTVT.

Their showing up to the event was a huge problem for two key reasons.

“USF officials said SDS had been placed on interim suspension last week after causing a disruption on campus and, therefore, couldn’t hold events,” WTVT notes. “The university’s policy also didn’t allow for tents on campus without permission, which they say students had violated.”

The authorities responded by declaring an unlawful assembly and demanding that the “protesters” disperse. When they refused, the authorities rushed them with tear gas.


What followed were the first campus protest arrests in Florida. Yet of the 10 people arrested, less than half were current students.

“Out of the 10 arrests, four are current students, two are former students, and four have no affiliation with the university,” according to Tampa station WFLA. “Neither of the former students graduated.”

Of the arrested students, two face felony charges, while the remainder face trespassing misdemeanors.

“Leonardo Jacob Tilell, 23, faces a felony charge of battery on a law enforcement, among other misdemeanors,” WFLA notes. “Emmanuel R. Atmosfera, 21, faces felony charges of resisting an officer with violence and aggravated assault with intent to commit a felony with a weapon, among other misdemeanors.”

Of the arrested strangers meanwhile, two were also hit with felony charges: “Atah Kheir Othman, 39, was arrested on a charge of possession of a firearm on school property, according to jail records. Jake Isadore Geffon, 23, faces charges of battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting with violence.”

Geffon for his part defended the “protest” when confronted by WFLA.

“This is a movement for everybody,” he claimed. “This is a liberation movement that doesn’t exclude anyone. It doesn’t attack anyone. This is a liberation movement; we are here for the people.”

But that’s not true, as “protesters” on other campuses have been spotted blocking Jewish students from moving freely:

USF responded to the “protests” and subsequent arrests by issuing a statement stressing its support for free speech and protest but noting that any crap beyond that won’t be tolerated.

“The University of South Florida values the right to free speech and protecting the constitutional right for individuals and groups on campus to express themselves,” a USF spokesperson said in a statement.

“This includes peaceful protests and demonstrations that occur regularly on USF’s three campuses without incident and are part of the public discourse of a university. However, the expression of free speech must remain peaceful and not violate the law or USF policies. The university has been clear the violence, threats, harassment and disruptions will not be tolerated,” the statement continued.

The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee was pleased by the school’s response.

“The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee applauds the University of South Florida (USF) and its President Reah Law, for enforcing USF policies and preventing a small group of agitators from harassing Jewish students on campus and disrupting the education of thousands of students,” they said in a statement.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has also condemned the “protest,” saying Florida won’t “allow the inmates to run the asylum.”

“When you go out and try to commandeer property and set up encampments, you are not going to be allowed to do that in this state,” he said.

Three of the 10 arrested “stood virtually in front of a judge Wednesday, with Courtney Benson representing them pro-bono,” according to WFLA.

“I do believe the protesters’ intent was to remain peaceful,” Benson claimed in court. “The officers came in and gave demands allegedly to disperse. I don’t believe that based on the crowd that they heard or were reasonably able to heed to those demands by the officers.”

Meanwhile, USF Police Chief Christopher Daniel has been pushing back on claims that the arrests were unnecessary.

“If you’re out here peacefully protesting, why should you need shields and umbrellas?” he reportedly said.

Vivek Saxena


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