NYU, Columbia, Yale Crack Down On Demonstrators As Anti-Israel Protests Intensify

April 23, 2024   |   Tags:
NYU, Columbia, Yale Crack Down On Demonstrators As Anti-Israel Protests Intensify

Several pro-Palestinian protests at major universities have been forcibly shut down, as tension simmer over the Israel-Hamas war.

NYU staff join protests (AFP via Getty Images)

The protests, which have been growing in size and intensity over the last week, were met with aggressive crackdowns from school administrators and police, as a wave of arrests, suspensions and canceled classes. Last week, officials at Columbia University called the cops to remove demonstrators who want the school to exit all investments that benefit the government of Israel amid the rising death toll in Gaza, which now stands at more than 34,000 according to local health officials. The war was sparked by the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on southern Israel, in which militants killed around 1,200 people (mostly civilians), and took 250 hostages.

Demonstrators have been setting up encampments which have swelled to hundreds of protesters who are demanding that their schools condemn Israel's assault on Gaza and divest from companies that sell weapons to Israel.

Students at Emerson set up Pro-Palestinian encampments inspired by protests at Columbia University. (Nancy Lane/Boston Herald)

Similar protests at Yale, MIT, and NYU, many of which occurred hours before the start of the Jewish holiday of Passover, have been met with crackdowns as well, as Jewish students say criticism of Israel and Zionism has turned into antisemitism that has made them feel unsafe, AP reports.

Officials at New York University called the cops after reports of "intimidating chants and several antisemitic incidents" Monday night. Around 8:30 p.m., officers began making arrests after around 150 protesters gathered at the university's Gould Plaza in Greenwich Village.

Protesters carried signs, chanted and banged on drums while walking downtown. Party for Socialism and Liberation via Storyful

In response, the Anti-Israel protesters marched toward NYPD headquarters late Monday carrying flares in protest of the arrests.

"They were described as interfering with the safety and security of our community," said Kaz Daughtry, the deputy commissioner of the New York Police Department’s Security Operations Center, referring to the protesters. "Our officers responded to the location without delay and dispersed the crowd, making numerous arrests, as necessary."

According to the Epoch Times, the university tried to negotiate with the protesters. The situation escalated as more people joined the ranks, and protesters ignored repeated requests to leave the area.

"Following negotiations this morning, additional protestors breached our barriers in violation of our clear instructions, and we witnessed disorderly, disruptive, and antagonizing behavior that has interfered with the safety and security of our community," reads a letter received from NYU to the NYPD. "At this point, we consider all protesters occupying Gould Plaza to be trespassers, and we would like the NYPD to clear the area and take action to remove the protestors. In the event they refuse to leave, we request the NYPD take enforcement action accordingly, up to and including arrest."

Students at Emerson set up Pro-Palestinian encampments following the eruption of protests at Columbia University. (Nancy Lane/Boston Herald)

At Yale, police arrested 60 people on Monday, including 47 students. President Peter Salovey cited "police reports identifying harmful acts and threatening language used against individuals at or near the protest sites," according to Bloomberg.

Samad Hakani, Photography Editor, Yale News

At Harvard, access to Harvard Yard has been restricted through Friday, and the university suspended the Palestinian Solidarity Committee student group - one of several organizations that staged a rally in Harvard Yard in solidarity with their comrades at Columbia.

At MIT, students set up an encampment in front of Kresge Auditorium - a central building on campus.

"We are here first and foremost to call for a ceasefire in Gaza," said Prahlad Iyengar, a first-year graduate student participating in the protest, Bloomberg reports.

On the West Coast, several hundred students set up more than a dozen tents at UC Berkeley proclaiming "Gaza Solidarity Encampment Until UC Divests." The protesters demand that the university divest from companies tied to Israel, as well as a boycott of academic activities such as the UC study abroad program in Israel.

The University of Pennsylvania revoked the registration of a pro-Palestinian campus organization.

Let's see what comes next...

Tyler Durden Tue, 04/23/2024 - 10:15


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