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Columbia University threatens to expel student protesters occupying an administration building



Last Updated on May 1, 2024 by Robert C. Hoopes

In a recent development at Columbia University in New York City, police officers entered the campus following a statement from the Mayor calling for an end to a pro-Palestinian protest. Demonstrators had occupied Hamilton Hall for over 12 hours before the police intervention. It was reported that the NYPD had received authorization from Columbia University to take action before entering the campus.

These protests at Columbia are part of a nationwide trend of demonstrations on college campuses. The White House has condemned standoffs at Columbia University and California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt. President Biden believes that occupying academic buildings is not a peaceful form of protest.

The protests were sparked by Israel’s offensive in Gaza following a Hamas attack on Israel in October. Israel supporters have labeled the protests as antisemitic, while protesters defend the movement as peaceful. The demonstrators at Columbia are demanding divestment, financial transparency, and amnesty.

Despite previous ultimatums and warnings to the protesters, police intervention at the university was deemed necessary. The Columbia University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors criticized the administration for its handling of the situation. The Mayor claimed that the protests had been co-opted by outside agitators, a statement disputed by organizers and participants.

It is worth noting that the NYPD had previously made similar claims of “outside agitators” during the George Floyd protests. Despite the ongoing protests, Columbia University has not canceled its main graduation event. Some colleges across the nation are negotiating agreements with protesters to ensure peaceful graduation ceremonies amidst the ongoing tensions.

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