ST. LOUIS – With another anticipated protest Friday evening, several figures have weighed in on the turmoil amongst anti-war demonstrations across St. Louis recently.

Two protests have taken place within the past week at Washington University on Saturday and Saint Louis University on Wednesday.

The protest at WashU led to the arrests of 100 people, with only about a quarter of them being part of the school community. Among those that were arrested was St. Louis Board of Aldermen President Megan Green.

No further information has been released as to whether there were any charges against those who were detained.

“What happened last weekend on our campus was not good for anyone…We would have much preferred that those who were arrested Saturday left voluntarily when authorities told them multiple times to disperse. Unfortunately, they made a different choice, which is regrettable for us all,” a statement from a group of WashU leaders stated. “This has been a tumultuous time for our WashU community. And unfortunately, we know it’s not over. Tensions remain very high within and outside of our campus—here in St. Louis and beyond—as we all continue to grapple with serious, high-stakes world issues. There are no easy solutions.”

SLU’s campus held a group of community members protesting Wednesday, eventually walking to N. Grand Boulevard and closing off the street. There was an understanding between the university, protestors, and police that law enforcement wouldn’t intervene as long as it stayed peaceful. No arrests were made that night.

“This was not the first protest on the issue of the Israel-Hamas war to occur in the City of St. Louis and will likely not be the last. It remains the top priority of Mayor Jones and the City of St. Louis to ensure that all members of the community are safe,” a release from Mayor Tishaura Jones’ administration said. “We are hopeful that both the protesters and university administration can emulate the precedent set by Wednesday night’s protest.”

Bandits use phones to rig local slot machines

Friday’s scheduled protest is expected to begin in Forest Park. According to Mayor Jones’ office, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department will be on hand as protestors are within city limits. Once they reach campus, jurisdiction will be turned over to the Washington University Police Department.

“WashU has a long, proud history of encouraging and supporting free expression. It is a defining characteristic of who we are as an academic institution. Our commitment is firm; however, it does have its limits. It always has. We do not allow anyone – particularly individuals who are not directly affiliated with WashU – to violate our policies, create chaos, instill fear in our community, and prevent us from engaging in our regular educational activities and campus life. We stand firm in our resolve to take action when individuals inside or outside of our community do any of those things,” the statement from WashU said.

Their letter continues to list their policies regarding protesting on campus, which reads:

We allow peaceful protest. We do not allow activities that disrupt our ability to fulfill our institutional mission.  

Marching peacefully through campus is allowed. Blocking entrances or walkways is not. Amplified sound also is not allowed.

Gathering to listen to speeches is allowed. Pitching tents and setting up an encampment are not.  

Chanting and displaying signs are allowed.  Threatening or harassing speech directed at an individual or group is not.  

Members of the St. Louis community are allowed to be on campus.  They are not allowed to come here to disrupt our ability to learn or work, or to do harm to our community.

Anyone who is asked to leave by the university or law enforcement must leave or risk disciplinary action or, potentially, arrest.  This is never our first or preferred choice. We do not want to have to take this step – with anyone, but particularly our own students, faculty, and staff.  We are deeply saddened that we have ended up in this position in recent weeks.

Washington University

“This situation is testing us all. We’re learning a lot about ourselves and our community. We have faith that we will pull together – like we always do – and find our way forward. We are strong and resilient. Our hope is that we will come out of this with a greater appreciation for all we have and all we mean to each other,” WashU’s statement said.