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College campus protests: Latest updates from Columbia University and Yale

Pro-Palestine protesters occupy Columbia university lawn

Columbia University administrators have cancelled in-person classes and a rabbi has warned Jewish students to leave campus amid growing pro-Palestinian protests.

Students at Columbia ramped up pro-Palestinian protests and encampments last week after school officials testified before Congress about potential antisemitism on their campus and escalating tensions.

The school has moved classes online amid growing tensions. Pro-Palestinian students are protesting and staging encampments as some Jewish students say they feel unsafe on campus.

A rabbi affiliated with the school has also told a group of nearly 300 Jewish students to go home until tensions improve — meanwhile, Columbia/Barnard Hillel said they do not believe Jewish students should leave campus. The messages came ahead of Passover, which began Monday.

The New York Police Department arrested some 100 students last week. Police Chief John Chell later noted that the students who were arrested “were peaceful,” per the Columbia Spectator.

Meanwhile, at least 45 people have been arrested at Yale University amid similar protests staged by some 200 students. Yale president Peter Salovey previously sent students an email late on Sunday warning the school “will pursue disciplinary actions according to its policies” amid ongoing demonstrations.

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Columbia University president warns that some not affiliated with the school are co-opting protests

Columbia University President Minouche Shafik updated students on Monday regarding pro-Palestinian protests on the New York City campus.

“These tensions have been exploited and amplified by individuals who are not affiliated with Columbia who have come to campus to pursue their own agendas,” Ms Shafik said. “We need a reset.”

Ms Shafik announced classes would be virtual on Monday in the same statement.

Last week, the school’s head called in the New York Police Department to arrest some 100 students involved in pro-Palestine protests. Police Chief John Chell later noted that the students who were arrested “were peaceful…and were saying what they wanted to say in a peaceful manner,” per the Columbia Spectator.

Katie Hawkinson22 April 2024 19:30

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WATCH: Pro-Palestine protesters occupy Columbia university lawn as arrests made

Pro-Palestine protesters occupy Columbia university lawn as arrests made

Protesters occupied a lawn at Columbia University in a pro-Palestine encampment on Thursday, 18 April. Students have been demonstrating on campus since Wednesday when university president Nemat Shafik faced a congressional hearing on the Ivy League school’s response to antisemitism and conflicts on campus following the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel. Ms Shafik authorised police to begin clear the encampment from the South Lawn of Morningside campus before dozens were arrested. Columbia introduced a policy in February approving specific locations for protests, which need advanced notice. Protesters arrested Thursday were calling for the university to divest from corporations they said were profiting from Israeli military action in Gaza.

Katie Hawkinson22 April 2024 19:00

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SEE IT: Encampment, protests on Columbia University’s campus

Pro-Palestinian protesters have established an encampment, pictured above on Sunday, on the Columbia University campus (Anadolu via Getty Images)
Columbia University is seeing an uptick in pro-Palestinian protests, such as the one pictured on 20 April, since school officials testified to Congress last week about potential antisemitism on their campus (AFP via Getty Images)
The New York Police Department arrested some 100 students connected to the Columbia University protests, but the chief later said many of them were “peaceful” (AFP via Getty Images)

Katie Hawkinson22 April 2024 18:30

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Students at several east coast schools begin staging similar pro-Palestine encampments

Students at several universities in the Boston, Massachusetts area are staging pro-Palestinian encampments, similar to those at Columbia and Yale this week.

Encampments have been reported at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Tufts University and Emerson University, NBC Boston reports.

These protests are cropping up as Columbia University moves classes online on Monday, the beginning of Passover. The New York Police Department arrested some 100 students last week, later noting they were protesting peacefully.

Meanwhile, riot police stormed Yale University and arrested at least 45 students as they staged their own pro-Palestine protest on Monday.

Katie Hawkinson22 April 2024 18:00

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White House condemns ‘despicable antisemitism’ and ‘terrorist’ rhetoric at Columbia pro-Palestine protests

Student demonstrators have demanded that the university divest from “companies complicit in genocide” as the country engages in war for the seventh month since the October 7 attacks. The protests have continued into a fifth day on Sunday, but accounts of antisemitism and violent rhetoric have cropped up.

The White House condemned any hate-filled, targeted speech.

“While every American has the right to peaceful protect, calls for violence and physical intimidation targeting Jewish students and the Jewish community are blatantly Antisemitic, unconscionable, and dangerous – they have absolutely no place on any college campus, or anywhere in the United States of America,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates said in a statement.

Read more from Kelly Rissman:

Katie Hawkinson22 April 2024 17:30

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Columbia University ramps up security as Passover begins

Columbia University has hired an additional 111 security personnel and ordered additional security at the campus’ Jewish life centre amid pro-Palestinian protests and encampments.

Last week, Columbia University’s president called in the New York Police Department (NYPD) regarding pro-Palestinian protests. Officers arrested some 100 students. Police Chief John Chell later noted that the students who were arrested “were peaceful,” per the Columbia Spectator.

Katie Hawkinson22 April 2024 17:15

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Yale University president condemns pro-Palestine protests

Yale University President Peter Salovey sent students an email on Sunday warning the school “will pursue disciplinary actions according to its policies” amid ongoing demonstrations.

“Many of the students participating in the protests, including those conducting counterprotests, have done so peacefully. However, I am aware of reports of egregious behavior, such as intimidation and harassment, pushing those in crowds, removal of the plaza flag, and other harmful acts,” he wrote.

“Yale does not tolerate actions, including remarks, that threaten, harass, or intimidate members of the university’s Jewish, Muslim, and other communities,” he continued.

Katie Hawkinson22 April 2024 17:01

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National organisation criticizes Columbia president for calling police on students

The Columbia University chapter of the American Association of University Professors criticised school president Minouche Shafik for calling the New York Police Department (NYPD) on student protesters last week.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the Administration’s suspension of students engaged in peaceful protest and their arrest by the New York City Police Department,” the group said in a statement on Friday.

The NYPD arrested some 100 students last week after Ms Shafik requested their presence on campus. However, Police Chief John Chell later noted that the students who were arrested “were peaceful…and were saying what they wanted to say in a peaceful manner,” per the Columbia Spectator.

Katie Hawkinson22 April 2024 16:45

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Yale student says pro-Palestinan protester stabber her in the eye

Sahar Tartak, a sophomore at Yale University, says a pro-Palestinian protester stabbed her in the eye with a flag on Saturday.

”I was stabbed in the eye last night on Yale University’s campus because I am a Jew,” Ms Tartak wrote in an essay for The Free Press recounting the incident.

She said a protester stabbed her in the left eye with a Palestinian flag as she attempted to document the protest as a student journalist. Ms Tartak said she later went to the hospital.

Katie Hawkinson22 April 2024 16:30

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Ilhan Omar’s daughter claims she’s ‘homeless and hungry’ after Columbia suspension over pro-Palestine protests

Students from Columbia and Barnard opposed to the ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza gathered on Wednesday to form an “encampment” on Columbia’s south lawn.

On Thursday morning — approximately 24 hours after the encampment was formed — Ms Hirsi and approximately one hundred others were arrested when Columbia President Minouche Shafik authorised the NYPD to forcibly shut down the demonstration.

Graig Graziosi22 April 2024 16:15




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