Police end pro-Palestine occupation at Columbia

May 1, 2024 by AAP
Read on for article

Protesters have been taken into custody after Columbia University called in New York police to end the pro-Palestinian occupation on campus.

New York police have taken pro-Palestinian protesters occupying Columbia University into custody. (AP PHOTO)

Police said the university’s Hamilton Hall was cleared of pro-Palestinian protesters who took over the building on Tuesday.

The scene unfolded as officers, wearing helmets and carrying zip ties and riot shields, massed at the Ivy League university’s entrance.

Officers breached Hamilton Hall, an administration building on campus, to clear out the structure.

The demonstrators had occupied the hall more than 12 hours earlier, spreading their reach from an encampment elsewhere that had been in place for nearly two weeks.

A statement released by a Columbia spokesperson late on Tuesday said police arrived on campus after the university requested help.

The move came hours after the NYPD said officers would not enter the university campus without a university request or an imminent emergency.

“After the university learned overnight that Hamilton Hall had been occupied, vandalised, and blockaded, we were left with no choice,” the Columbia statement said.

“The decision to reach out to the NYPD was in response to the actions of the protesters, not the cause they are championing.

“We have made it clear that the life of campus cannot be endlessly interrupted by protesters who violate the rules and the law.”

More than 1000 protesters have been arrested over the past two weeks on university campuses in Texas, Utah, Virginia, North Carolina, New Mexico, Connecticut, Louisiana, California and New Jersey.

The White House condemned the standoffs at Columbia on Tuesday and California State Polytechnic University Humboldt earlier in the week.

Other universities have sought to negotiate agreements with the demonstrators to have peaceful commencement ceremonies.

On Tuesday afternoon, New York City mayor Eric Adams urged the Columbia protesters to “walk away” and advised them to “continue your advocacy through other means”.

The nationwide campus protests began at Columbia in response to Israel’s offensive in Gaza after Hamas attacked southern Israel on October 7.

Militants killed about 1200 people, most of them civilians, and took roughly 250 hostages.

Noah Loven, the president of The Australasian Union of Jewish Students, told J-Wire: “What we are witnessing at Columbia University is shocking and has clearly crossed the line into full-blown antisemitic rhetoric. We stand in solidarity with Jewish students at Columbia University and across the United States. We don’t want to see what is happening in the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, and for the situation to escalate to a stage where police presence is required. The universities themselves should act to protect Jewish students.”

AAP with J-Wire


Speak Your Mind

Comments received without a full name will not be considered
Email addresses are NEVER published! All comments are moderated. J-Wire will publish considered comments by people who provide a real name and email address. Comments that are abusive, rude, defamatory or which contain offensive language will not be published

Got something to say about this?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.