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Last Updated on April 19, 2024 by Robert C. Hoopes

Over 100 Pro-Palestinian Protesters Arrested at Columbia University

In a tense standoff at Columbia University, over 100 pro-Palestinian protesters were arrested after they occupied the university’s south lawn for more than 30 hours, in violation of school rules. The demonstrators, including Isra Hirsi, daughter of Rep. Ilhan Omar, were calling for solidarity with Palestine in the ongoing conflict with Israel.

Columbia President Nemat Shafik found herself in a difficult position as efforts to resolve the situation peacefully were rejected by the protesters. Ultimately, she authorized the NYPD to clear the crowd, leading to the arrests.

Hirsi, a student at Columbia, was subsequently suspended for her participation in the protests. The situation on campus was further complicated by the presence of pro-Israel protesters, creating a tense atmosphere that attracted the attention of the authorities.

In response to the incident, Columbia University released a letter authorizing the NYPD’s action, citing the need to maintain order on campus. The university’s handling of the situation drew scrutiny from the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, which questioned Shafik about concerns of antisemitism on campus.

During the hearing, Shafik struggled to answer whether she had witnessed any instances of anti-Jewish or anti-Muslim demonstrations at Columbia. The incident has sparked a debate about free speech and campus activism, highlighting the challenges faced by universities in navigating sensitive political issues. Stay tuned for updates on this developing story as tensions continue to simmer at Columbia University.

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