The video is jarring: A gray-haired woman tumbles, gets up to reach for her phone, held by police officers, and is yanked and taken to the ground. “Are you kidding me?” a bystander asks.

“What are they doing to her?” another adds.

Annelise Orleck, a labor historian who has taught at Dartmouth College for more than three decades, was at a protest for Palestinians in Gaza on Wednesday night, when she was knocked to the ground. Dr. Orleck, 65, was zip-tied and was one of 90 people who were arrested, according to the local police.

The professor walked away with a case of whiplash. But a short video clip of the episode flew around the internet, intensifying the debate over the relatively swift decision by Dartmouth’s president, Sian Leah Beilock, to call in police to arrest students and clear out an encampment.

Unlike other campuses where tents were tolerated for days, the police action at Dartmouth began a little more than two hours after the encampment first appeared, according to the college’s newspaper, The Dartmouth, and students who observed the events on Wednesday.

Dr. Beilock defended her decision.

“Last night, people felt so strongly about their beliefs that they were willing to face disciplinary action and arrest,” Dr. Beilock said in a message to campus on Thursday. “While there is bravery in that, part of choosing to engage in this way is not just acknowledging — but accepting — that actions have consequences.”

Dr. Beilock did not directly address the treatment of Dr. Orleck, who called the message “outrageous.”


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