UT Austin Palestine rally: Protesters released from jail

Almost 60 protesters were arrested at a pro-Palestine rally at the University of Texas at Austin. Some of the protestors were slowly being released from jail on Thursday morning. 

Dozens of family and friends had been outside the jail all night waiting for their release. They could be heard chanting, "APD, let them out."

Texas DPS said, as of 9 p.m. on Wednesday, 34 arrests were made by law enforcement on the UT Austin campus related to protests. That number was updated to 57 by the Travis County Sheriff's Office.

TCSO later told FOX 7 Austin that all 57 had been released from jail.

One of those arrested included a FOX 7 Austin photographer who was there covering the event. He was booked into the Travis County Jail and released on Wednesday morning, 15 hours after being booked for criminal trespass.


Those arrested trickled out of the Travis County Jail with charges dropped. The Travis County Attorney's Office dropped criminal charges against some of the protestors arrested, citing "deficiencies in the probable cause affidavits."

"There was kind of a split between these, these two groups, the police officers and the peaceful protesters, there was kind of a blank space in the grass where no one was. And I kind of walked through that. And as I was walking through that, to get to the other side, a police officer just grabbed me," said Lazarus Omkoscielniak, one of those arrested.

"I was there for over 13 hours. It was very long, very tiring. Draining experience. I do think I'm just a regular college student who did not deserve to be arrested and put in jail," said Oluchukwu Okafor, who was one of those arrested.

According to a Wednesday statement from DPS, troopers came to campus at the request of the University and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

"I care about the cause. You know, I think we should free the people that are suffering in Palestine. Because as terrible as that was, that's not like, half as bad as what the people in Palestine are going through. So I'll do that any day. If it means liberty for the people in Palestine," said Daniel Ducharme, who was also arrested at the protest.

Hundreds of students walked out of class on Wednesday, April 24 to rally for Palestine and attempt to occupy the South Lawn on campus.

Protesters are calling for a ceasefire between the Israeli forces and Hamas, as well as an end to what they call the occupation of Palestine.