Students occupy Paris's Sciences Po university in pro-Palestinian protest

Students in Paris inspired by Gaza solidarity encampments at campuses in the United States blocked access to a campus building at a prestigious French university Friday, prompting administrators to move all classes online.

The pro-Palestinian protest kicked off a day of drama at the Paris Institute of Political Studies, known as Sciences Po, which counts President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Gabriel Attal among its many famous alumni.

Protesters first occupied a central campus building and blocked its entrance with trash cans, wooden platforms and a bicycle. They also gathered at the building’s windows, chanting pro-Palestinian slogans, and hung out Palestinian flags and placards reading “We are all Palestinians."

Later Friday, pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli demonstrators faced each other in a tense standoff in the street outside the school. Riot police stepped in to separate the opposing groups.

As evening fell, a dwindling group of pro-Palestinian protesters refused to budge, ignoring police orders to evacuate the street. Others left peacefully, escorted away from the area by police.

Among protesters' demands was that Sciences Po sever ties with Israeli schools.

Hundreds of students and even some professors have been arrested across the U.S., sometimes amid struggles with police.

Read more on FRANCE 24 English

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