Alliance for Youth Action Network Calls for an End to Police Intervention in Campus Protests and Urges Universities to Uphold Free Speech


May 8, 2024


The Alliance for Youth Action Network expresses profound concern and disappointment regarding the recent actions by certain university administrations against student bodies, including the deployment of police forces to manage peaceful protests, the suppression of academic freedom, and the violation of the fundamental right to free speech and protest.

“Universities should be sanctuaries of free expression and intellectual exploration,” said Dakota Hall, Executive Director of the Alliance for Youth Action. “When university leaders call the police on peaceful student protests, they’re not just putting our young people at risk—they’re also shutting down the important voices we need to make society better.”

The tradition of student activism—from civil rights marches to anti-war protests—has played a crucial role in driving societal transformation and reform throughout our nation’s history. “By inviting the police to silence these voices and criminalize peaceful protestors, university administrations have not only halted the growth of our nation’s young leaders who lead  societal progress but also have lost trust in their ability to lead these institutions,” said Dakota.

Recent incidents where police have violently upended student encampments and protests mark a troubling escalation in the suppression of student activism that resembles a fascist state rather than institutions that promote free thought. “These actions do not merely disrupt—they directly assault the long-established tradition of campus activism, which has and continues to be a powerful ignitor for social change for our country,” Dakota added.

The Alliance for Youth Action Network strongly urges university administrations to cease these repressive tactics. Universities that have thoughtfully engaged student activists around their demands have seen peaceful resolutions and the voluntary dismantling of encampments without calling in police to brutalize their students. “We demand that university leaders strongly reaffirm their commitment to the rights of protest, free speech, and the ability to organize,” said Dakota. “It is vital to cultivate campuses where these fundamental freedoms are protected and valued, not stifled by the use of police force that undermines and intimidates.”