Columbia University Cracks Down on Pro-Palestinian Encampment, Arrests Over 100

Over 100 pro-Palestinian protesters were arrested at Columbia University on Thursday as tensions escalated on campus amid ongoing demonstrations against Israel’s military actions in Gaza. The arrests followed the decision by Columbia University President Nemat Minouche Shafik, who, citing safety concerns, authorized the New York Police Department to dismantle an encampment of tents established by students.

The protest, which began on Wednesday morning, was declared unauthorized by the university due to violations of school policies regarding demonstrations. New York City Mayor Eric Adams confirmed that the police conducted the arrests without any incidents of violence or injury, attributing the charges primarily to trespassing.

In response to the protest, Columbia University has begun the process of suspending students involved in the encampment. A university spokesperson stated that formal notifications are being sent out as individuals are identified. Among those suspended are students from Barnard College, including Isra Hirsi, daughter of US Representative Ilhan Omar, who has publicly supported the protesters.

The congressional committee recently scrutinized President Shafik for her handling of antisemitism on campus, a charge she countered by highlighting the university’s proactive measures against such incidents. The protests at Columbia are demanding a permanent cease-fire in Gaza, an end to US military aid to Israel, and the university’s divestment from companies involved in the Israeli military campaign.

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