Biden, speaking on campus protests, says both free speech and rule of law must be upheld

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(WASHINGTON) — President Joe Biden on Thursday spoke from the White House on college protests happening across the nation in connection with the Israel-Hamas war.

“We’ve all seen images and they put to the test two fundamental American principles,” Biden said. “The first is the right to free speech and for people to peacefully assemble and make their voices heard. The second is the rule of law. Both must be upheld.”

It marked the first time Biden directly addressed the issue since his brief comments to reporters on April 22, before the escalation of suspension and arrests at several campuses. At the time, he said he condemned both antisemitic actions and those who didn’t understand the plight of Palestinians in Gaza.

Biden’s faced pressure from Republicans, who are seizing on party unity against university leaders and as staunch supporters of Israel to go after divided Democrats, to step up his response to recent events.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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