All UNF protesters released from jail as dozens demonstrated for their release

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — All 16 people arrested on the University of North Florida campus Thursday night were released from jail after protesting against Israel’s war in Gaza. This is after they were ordered to be released.


Over 30 people gathered on the steps of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office demanding charges be dropped against local students and pro-Palestine protestors who were arrested at UNF.

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On Thursday, UNF gave the demonstrators a 10 p.m. curfew and ultimately arrested those who chose to stay.

“We’re here not only to demand the release not only for our comrades but also show solidarity for students across the nation as well,” UNF junior, Jay Dodge said.

During a student-led protest against Israel’s war in Gaza at least 16 people were arrested. Eight were UNF students. They’re all charged with trespassing.

RELATED: UNF graduation ceremonies go on Friday despite arrests during pro-Palestinian protests Thursday

“What we saw on our campus last night was a small taste of the intensely violent repression that students all across the country are seeing when they set up their solidarity encampments,” Dodge said.

UNF gave demonstrators until 10 p.m. to leave campus but after multiple warnings, those who didn’t leave were taken away by police.

Action News Jax law and safety expert Dale Carson is a criminal defense attorney. He discussed whether the charges will stick.

“The students themselves will face two problems; the university will have issues with their behavior as students, the other individuals were clearly trespassing,” Carson said. “Those individuals, all have been charged whether or not the school will talk with the prosecutor’s office in a way to reduce the charge or the potential exposure to actual students is an unanswered question at this point but it’s not unheard of for that to happen.”

UNF sent a statement that said they respect the fight for all to protest, demonstrate, assemble, and express differing viewpoints adding that demonstrators were told they needed to leave campus by 10 p.m. as they have done the previous two nights.

READ: ‘I’m like, speechless right now:’ 9 Arc Jacksonville students graduate from UNF

Jay Dodge is going to be a senior at UNF and said they were also protesting what they believed were inconsistent rules by campus officials.

“It’s our Green, it’s out campus... we pay tuition, we have the right to be there and the right to peacefully assemble according to the First Amendement.”

According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s inmate search website, 13 of the 16 people were still in custody this evening before the news was released that everyone was eventually released. That’s after they were ordered by a judge to be released on their own recognizance around 1 p.m. on Friday.

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