Student arrested at Georgia university after disrupting speech on Israel-Hamas war


MACON, Ga. (AP) — A student at a private university in Georgia has been arrested on a misdemeanor battery charge after arguing with a person giving a speech about the Israel-Hamas war.

WMAZ-TV reports the student was arrested by Mercer University police in Macon after making physical contact with Jennifer Grossman, CEO of the conservative group the Atlas Society.

The student was booked into the Bibb County jail on Friday and released on $650 bail.

The Atlas Society, which promotes the ideology of conservative writer Ayn Rand, posted video of the argument.

The student was arrested while criticizing Grossman's stance on the Israel-Hamas War and her previous work with fruit and vegetable company Dole. The student had come to the front of the auditorium to interrupt and confront Grossman.

The student then criticized Dole’s business practices, which is when the person is accused of putting hands on Grossman.

In the video, a Mercer University police officer escorts the student from the room.

The university said in a statement that it's reviewing the incident and will take action “as warranted.”

“Disrupting and invading the personal space of a speaker is not acceptable,” the statement said. “It is our hope this will ultimately prove to be a positive learning experience for the student.”

Demonstrations and disruptions over the Israel-Hamas war have been widespread at American colleges, creating concerns over free speech and student safety.

The Atlas Society posted the video on its page and said “America used to be better than this.”