7 students arrested, maced at Binghamton war protest

Nine protesters, including seven students from Binghamton University, were arrested on March 11 during an anti-war protest in Binghamton that ended in a violent confrontation with police officers. Three of the seven students were jailed and held on $500 bail. Since the arrest, all of the students have been released from jail. According to a March 18 article in The Pipe Dream, Binghamton University's student newspaper, those arrested were charged with resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration in the second degree, both misdemeanors, and disorderly conduct, a violation.

Approximately 60 people attended the rally, which began on the Binghamton campus and moved toward the Vestal Parkway, obstructing traffic flow. The protesters then moved to the University Plaza shopping center to gather outside an army recruiting station.

Vestal police used pepper spray on several demonstrators after they refused to relocate out of moving traffic and a student jumped in front of a police car. According to the police, protesters began shoving officers, which resulted in the officers' response.

"You mace a rapist, not students that are protesting," Binghamton senior Alisa Selman told The Pipe Dream. Selman's boyfriend was one of the first individuals to be taken into custody.

Protesters, students and local residents have accused police officers of using excessive and inappropriate force against demonstrators.

"It was a nonviolent protest," sophomore Seyma Bayram told the Pipe Dream.

In response to the incident, Binghamton's Student Association approved a decision that stipulates that the Association will react to any illegal activity of student groups or abuses by law enforcement officials.

Currently, no lawsuits have been filed, but one student has expressed interest in contacting a lawyer regarding the incident.