Updated May 2nd, 2024 at 22:03 IST

Biden Speaks on Campus Protests in Gaza, Says ‘Order Must Prevail’

President Joe Biden on Thursday defended the right to protest but insisted that “order must prevail” as college campuses across the country face unrest.

Reported by: Isha Bhandari
Biden Speaks on Campus Protests in Gaza, Says ‘Order Must Prevail’ | Image:(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

President Joe Biden stood firm on Thursday, affirming the importance of the right to protest while emphasizing the need for maintaining “order” amidst growing unrest on college campuses over the war in Gaza.

"Dissent is essential for democracy," Biden declared from the White House. "But dissent must never lead to disorder."


Despite the escalating protests, President Biden reiterated that the demonstrations have not prompted him to reconsider his approach to the conflict. While he has occasionally criticized Israel's actions, he continues to support the nation with weapons.

Furthermore, Biden expressed opposition to deploying the National Guard to quell the unrest, maintaining his stance against military intervention on college campuses.


The Republican Party has sought to capitalize on scenes of unrest, using them as ammunition against Democrats in their campaigns. House Speaker Mike Johnson condemned the disorder, urging President Biden to address the issue directly.

Donald Trump on Biden’s perceived silence 

Former President Donald Trump, his party's presumptive nominee, also criticised Biden in an interview. 

“Biden has to do something,” he said. “Biden is supposed to be the voice of our country, and it's certainly not much of a voice. It's a voice that nobody's heard.” He repeated his criticisms on Wednesday during a campaign event in Waukesha, Wisconsin.


“The radical extremists and far-left agitators are terrorizing college campuses, as you possibly noticed," Trump said. “And Biden's nowhere to be found. He hasn't said anything." Kate Berner, who served as deputy communications director for Biden's campaign in 2020, said Republicans already tried the same tactic four years ago during protests over George Floyd's murder by a police officer.

“People rejected that,” she said. “They saw that it was just fearmongering. They saw that it wasn't based in reality.” Apart from condemning antisemitism, the White House has been reluctant to directly engage on the issue.


Jean-Pierre repeatedly deflected questions during a briefing on Monday.

Asked whether protesters should be disciplined by their schools, she said “universities and colleges make their own decisions” and "we're not going to weigh in from here.” Pressed on whether police should be called in, she said “that's up to the colleges and universities.” When quizzed about administrators rescheduling graduation ceremonies, she said “that is a decision that they have to decide" and “that is on them.” Biden will make his own visit to a college campus on May 19 when he's scheduled to deliver the commencement address at Morehouse University in Atlanta.


With inputs from AP 


Published May 2nd, 2024 at 22:03 IST