Georgia college student arrested after making physical contact with speaker giving remarks on Israel-Hamas war

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A pro-Palestinian student at a private university in Macon, Georgia, was arrested after making physical contact with a conservative speaker delivering a speech on campus about the Israel-Hamas war.

Mercer University student Savannah Grace O’Brien was arrested Thursday by campus police on simple battery charges after making physical contact with Atlas Society CEO Jennifer Grossman, who appeared to be speaking in support of Israel, according to WMAZ-TV.

The Atlas Society is a conservative nonprofit that promotes the philosophy of author and philosopher Ayn Rand, whose works include Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead.

O’Brien was booked into the Bibb County Jail on Friday and released on $650 bail.

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A video of the incident posted on social media by the Atlas Society showed the student, who was wrapped in pro-Palestinian and transgender flags and wearing a mask, disrupting Grossman’s speech after taking issue with her stance on the Israel-Hamas war and her previous work as senior vice president of fruit and vegetable company Dole.

The student approached Grossman at the front of the auditorium and interrupted her speech. The student then criticized Dole’s labor and business practices and put hands on Grossman.

A campus police officer was seen escorting the student from the room after the incident.

“America used to be better than this,” the Atlas Society wrote on Facebook.

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Mercer University in Georgia

Mercer said in a statement that it is reviewing the incident and will take action “as warranted.”

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

The speech was held at Mercer University’s Willet Auditorium and was hosted by the university’s chapter of the conservative group Turning Point U.S.A.

Many pro-Palestinian protests and disruptions have happened at U.S. colleges and universities since Hamas terrorists attacked Israel on Oct. 7, leading to a retaliatory military response from Israeli forces.

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