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Biden says he supports the right to protest but denounces 'chaos' and hate speech

President Biden gives remarks about student protests over the war in Gaza from the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Thursday.
Evan Vucci
/
AP
President Biden gives remarks about student protests over the war in Gaza from the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Thursday.

Updated May 02, 2024 at 11:28 AM ET

President Biden defended the protests roiling college campuses across the country, but also emphasized the importance of the rule of law and denounced hate speech of any kind.

The president gave the brief, hastily arranged remarks from the White House Thursday morning following days of colleges and universities struggling to contain pro-Palestinian protests.

"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 rule of law. Both must be upheld."

He said people have a right to get an education and freely walk across campus without fear. "There's the right to protest but no the right to cause chaos," he said.

Biden added that there is no place for antisemitism or hate speech of any kind in America.

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