Green Party Candidate Jill Stein Arrested During College Protest

A weekend of heightened tensions over the Israel-Gaza war culminated in the arrest of Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and 99 others at Washington University in St. Louis. Stein, 73, participated in a protest pushing for the university to cut ties with corporations like Boeing that demonstrators accuse of contributing to violence in Gaza. Two of Stein’s top campaign aides were also among those apprehended.

The arrests show the growing struggle universities nationwide face in balancing free speech with campus safety amid a surge of anti-Israel activism. Washington University asserted the protests had intensified to the point of “causing a significant disruption.”

Stein’s detainment made clear an alarming trend of outside agitators — unaffiliated with the campus community — arriving to provoke disruption and gain publicity for political agendas. This pattern is becoming increasingly common in the now nationwide demonstrations.

The university indicated in a statement that the gathering violated policies by setting up an encampment on campus grounds. “We are firmly committed to free expression and allow ample opportunity for voices to be heard on our campus,” the school maintained, cautioning it would take “swift action” to uphold its policies and protect students and employees.

Stein campaign spokesperson Jason Call reiterated 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 election season unfolds, the nation will need to defend the First Amendment rights to free speech and peaceful assembly while ensuring universities can provide a secure environment for learning and working. Safeguarding free expression should not require tolerating violence or threats on campus.