Texas Freedom Network Rebukes Use of Excessive Force, Violation of Constitutional Rights at the University of Texas

April 26, 2024

Austin, TX — Law enforcement Wednesday arrested over 50 people during peaceful protests at the University of Texas in Austin.

Travis County Attorney Delia Garza’s office Friday confirmed that charges have been dropped in all 57 arrests made during the protest.

Texas Freedom Network Deputy Director Carisa Lopez (she/her/ella) had the following reaction:

“The right to peaceful protest and free speech is the bedrock of our democracy. We at Texas Freedom Network and Texas Rising are deeply troubled by the use of excessive force, escalation, and arrests made by law enforcement at the University of Texas during recent peaceful protests. We are honored to work closely with college students across Texas and on UT’s campus, and we condemn this clear violation of students’ constitutional rights. The University of Texas and law enforcement should be the entities protecting our freedoms, but instead, these institutions have been weaponized to steal our community’s freedoms. 

“Governor Greg Abbott flaunted protecting free speech on college campuses as he signed a new bill into law in 2019, yet he is the one who directed DPS to the UT campus and publicly said that the student protestors ‘belong in jail.’ The Constitution does not state freedom of speech only exists when those in power approve of the message. We know the truth: Abbott’s agenda is authoritarian rule, not freedom. The University of Texas should be ashamed that they’ve allowed themselves to be pawns in Abbott’s crusade to dismantle democracy by unleashing law enforcement on students simply exercising their constitutional rights.”