Columbia Refuses To Dismantle Protest Tents

Columbia University announced this week that it would not dismantle the tent city that has grown up in the middle of the campus as part of wider pro-Palestinian protests. The move came as some protests have grown substantially in recent weeks but other colleges have torn down the encampments created by students.

The college stated that it would not lock down the campus or evict the students from the encampment.

“We want to be clear: There is no truth to claims of an impending lockdown or evictions on campus,” said the college.

The announcement was met with celebrations from the protesters. A scene from outside of the college showed protesters holding up a torn-up Israeli flag. In another photo taken last week, one protester held a sign calling for Hamas to target pro-Israel protesters.

The college canceled all in-person classes on Monday and held them remotely.

The protest movement was largely based around Columbia University before it began to grow in other colleges. This included large encampments placed in other colleges.

At Harvard University student protesters set up a tent city that was hit by sprinklers last week.

Furthermore, protesters at Harvard tore down an American flag over the weekend and replaced it with a Palestinian flag. The Palestinian flag hanging off of an academic building was soon taken down by the college.

The growth of the protests also coincided with concerns over the growth of antisemitism. The White House issued a statement condemning such antisemitic rhetoric last week.

In addition, a number of chants justifying the actions of Hamas. Some have also called for the death of ‘Zionists’ and harassed Jewish students. In one example, a Jewish student was stabbed in the eye at Harvard.

The move also comes as some students have increased their demands, especially on the expensive private colleges. It is not clear how other colleges will react to the demands, although other colleges have moved to clear the encampments and arrest some of the protesters.