Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein Detained During Washington University Anti-Israel Demonstration

Jill Stein, the Green Party’s presidential nominee, was among 100 individuals arrested this weekend during a protest at Washington University in St. Louis. The 73-year-old politician and two campaign aides participated in a demonstration urging the school to cut ties with corporations, such as Boeing, that do business with the nation of Israel.

The arrests highlight the growing challenge universities face in balancing free speech with campus safety as protests related to the Israel-Gaza conflict intensify nationwide. Washington University indicated the demonstrations had escalated to a point of “causing a significant disruption” necessitating intervention.

Stein’s detainment underscores a concerning trend of outside agitators unaffiliated with the campus community arriving to provoke unrest and attract publicity for political agendas. This pattern is becoming increasingly prevalent in the nationwide protests.

The university stated the gathering violated policies by setting up a campsite on university property. “We are firmly committed to free expression and allow ample opportunity for voices to be heard on our campus,” the school declared, emphasizing it would promptly implement its guidelines to protect students and staff.

Stein campaign spokesperson Jason Call affirmed their support for the student protesters in response to the arrest. “The Stein campaign supports the demands of the students and their peaceful protest and assembly on campus. Student protest for peace and civil liberties has always represented the best part of our collective moral conscience.”

As the nation navigates this election season, it will be crucial to defend the First Amendment rights to free speech and peaceful assembly while acknowledging that universities have a duty to maintain a secure environment for learning and working. Safeguarding free expression should not entail tolerating violence or intimidation on campus.