Columbia Will Not Have Police Clear Pro-Palestine Encampment

Columbia University said last week that it would not use police to clear out the protest encampment in one of its major squares. The decision came as other universities successfully worked with police to remove the tent encampments set up by the students in a nationally growing protest movement.

Columbia announced that it would not allow the New York Police Department (NYPD) to clear out the encampment last week. The decision came after the college extended a deadline for students to remove the encampment.

”We have our demands; they have theirs,” said the college in a statement. “The talks have shown progress and are continuing as planned,”

“For several days, a small group of faculty, administrators and university senators have been in dialogue with student organizers to discuss the basis for dismantling the encampment, dispersing and following university policies going forward,” said the college.

The college argued that utilizing police to break up the protest could lead to radicals taking advantage of the situation, including possible safety concerns.

The decision came as student protesters made a series of demands.

Some colleges were more direct in preventing obstructions. The University of Texas at Austin removed dozens of students illegally camping on their campus, resulting in dozens of arrests.

Columbia previously removed a number of protesters occupying one of its academic buildings, resulting in more than 100 arrests, including that of the daughter of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).

Anti-Israel protests have grown nationwide, as has allegations of antisemitism among the demonstrators. One photo from a pro-Israel rally at Columbia shows another student holding a sign calling for Hamas to attack them.

Furthermore, another student at Princeton University carried a Hezbollah flag, representing the Lebanese terrorist organization known best in the United States for destroying the U.S. Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, Lebanon in 1983, killing 241 Marines.

The nature of the protests shifted so much that the White House issued a statement last week condemning antisemitism among some of the demonstrators’ actions.