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Two people were arrested during pro-Palestinian protests, groups said

Hundreds from across Texas flocked to downtown Austin on Sunday, May 19, to protest the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas and the dozens of arrests made at pro-Palestinian demonstrations at UT Austin. (KXAN Photo Sam Stark)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Two people were arrested at a pro-Palestinian demonstration Sunday afternoon, according to groups that organized the event.

Hundreds of people from across Texas flocked to downtown Austin to protest the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, as well as the dozens of arrests at pro-Palestinian demonstrations at UT Austin.


Event organizers said Sunday’s event was also held to commemorate al-Nakba, or “the catastrophe,” when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were expelled from what is now the Israeli state in 1948, according to the Associated Press.

“We are making a statement of mass support for Palestinians facing ongoing genocide,” said Niveen Abtelwhed of the Palestinian Youth Movement.

Dozens of Austin police officers and Texas Department of Public Safety troopers lined the streets as protesters walked and chanted.

Abtelwhed told KXAN they hoped to host the event on the Capitol Lawn but had not received approval. Instead, people walked from the Texas State Capitol down Congress Ave. along, through downtown Austin and back to the capital.

The walk was peaceful until the group passed the Texas Governor’s Mansion. There, dozens of DPS soldiers in riot gear formed a blockade around the building. Ultimately, two protesters were arrested.

After the arrests, a group of people went to the Travis County Jail to sit and sing.

“We’ve been on the streets since October 7th,” said Tori Ramirez, a protester from San Antonio who claims her boyfriend was one of those arrested.

She said her boyfriend was trying to defuse a conflict when he was arrested by officers.

“They threw everything they could at us and it didn’t stop. Despite this arrest, we will still return to the streets after this,” Ramirez said.