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Bates Leftist Coalition, Bates College

From May 2021 to May 2021
Bates College (Private college or university)
Lewiston, Maine, United States

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Additional Information

  • Incident Nature:
    Rally or protest
    Recognized student group event
  • Incident Responses:
    University administration not protective of speech
    Other Law Enforcement
  • Incident Status:
    No litigation
  • No protest Occured
  • Did not involve Speech Codes

Summary

Bates Leftist Coalition is a pro-Palestinian “leftist/anti-capitalist” student group at Bates College. On May 10, the group posted a series of pro-Palestinian and anti-Zionist chalk drawings on its Instagram account. The drawings were located on Bates’s campus.

After the drawings were posted on Instagram, Bates’s director of Title IX and civil rights compliance sent an email to the entire student body expressing “deep concern about the impact” of the drawings on Jewish members of the Bates community. The Bates administration then contacted Lewiston Police to investigate the chalk drawings. Soon thereafter, the police referred the case to the state Attorney General’s office as a “potential hate crime.”

On May 12, the Bates student government, along with 14 other campus groups, released a statement condemning the administration’s handling of pro-Palestine campus speech. Twitter posts explaining the situation created by the Bates administration went viral the next day. On May 14, Bates’s administration announced that the Attorney General’s office had concluded that the chalk drawings did not require further investigation.