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Monday, April 22, 2024

Former UF Senate candidate caught stealing a pro-Palestinian sign in Turlington Plaza

The student was barred from campus

A UF student was barred from campus for stealing a pro-Palestinian sign from a protester in Turlington Plaza.

Holden Zeichner, a 20-year-old former UF independent Student Government Senate candidate, robbed and assaulted a man who was peacefully protesting in support of Palestinian people in Turlington Plaza. 

Zeichner shoved the protester, seized his pro-Palestine sign and used it to hit the protester on the head, according to a video of the incident sent to The Alligator. Zeichner then proceeded to tear the sign apart, despite witnesses calling for him to return it.

After the incident, Zeichner was detained, and he has since been issued a trespass warning by the University Police Department, which bars him from campus for three years.

UF Spokesperson Cynthia Roldan said a sworn complaint on charges of robbery was filed against Zeichner, and UF condemned his actions.

“The University of Florida has been absolutely clear about this: We will protect speech,” Roldán wrote. “Theft and vandalism are crimes, and UFPD will prosecute anyone who breaks the law. UF will both keep our students safe and protect speech. Vandalism is not speech — it’s crime.”

Contact Annie Wang at Follow her on X @wynwg.

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Annie Wang

Annie Wang is a first-year journalism major and a University General Assignment writer for The Alligator. In her free time, she enjoys reading and writing reviews on Goodreads.

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