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New York police escorted protesters out of the Columbia University building

The New York police cleared the Columbia University building on Wednesday, where dozens of pro-Palestinian protesters had barricaded themselves. And apparently also a nearby protest camp. It was reported by AP, CNN and BBC. The police acted at the request of the school. CNN reported on dozens of detainees. The university announced restrictions on access to the campus on Tuesday after student protests against Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip escalated there. Dozens of people occupied Hamilton Hall the night before in an attempt to force the severance of all financial ties to Israel.

Police intervention at Columbia University, May 1, 2024

| Photo: CTK

According to the AP, the police escorted 30 to 40 people out of the university building on Wednesday night. No one was injured during the incident, police told CNN less than two hours after officers entered the campus. The BBC writes that they apparently also cleared the nearby protest camp.

Columbia University said police entered the campus after 9:00 p.m. local time on Tuesday (3:00 a.m. Wednesday) at the school’s request. “This decision was made to restore safety and order in our community,” the university said, adding that it had no choice given the occupation of the building by protesters. “We believe the group that entered and occupied the building is led by individuals not associated with the university,” the school said.

US universities are grappling with increasingly frequent pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel student demonstrations:

Demonstration in support of Palestine at Harvard University

Anti-Semitic slogans on campuses: Demonstrations get out of control in the US

Hundreds of police intervened on the university campus, many of them entered the occupied building through a window. The BBC released a video of the attack, which shows officers climbing a ramp from a police car into the building. “We’re clearing it,” the emergency team shouted as they approached the barricaded entrance to the building, Reuters reported. According to her, other police officers went to the protest camp. “Shame! Shame!,” meanwhile chanted the watching college students.

Before long, police officers could be seen leading handcuffed protesters to police vehicles outside the campus gates, Reuters reported. Several dozen of them ended up in a police bus. Other media outlets note that it is not yet clear how many people the police have detained so far.

The university has now asked the police to remain on the campus until at least May 17, after the graduation ceremonies, and ensure that the protesters do not resume the protest camp.

The school conditionally excludes the demonstrators

The crisis at the prestigious university, whose pro-Palestinian students inspired protests at colleges across the United States, has been going on for nearly two weeks. The original “Gaza solidarity camp” at Columbia University was cleared by the police on April 18, but the first wave of arrests and study interruptions only escalated tensions, and a new tent city soon sprung up on the university campus in northern Manhattan. According to AP, on Monday after the afternoon ultimatum, students remained in it, expressing their disapproval of the allegedly pro-Israel approach of the school management.

People took to the streets of London and other British cities on Saturday, October 14, to show support for Palestine

Stop the war, freedom for Palestine. Thousands of protesters took to the streets of London

In the meantime, the school began the conditional expulsion of students who did not leave the protest camp by the ultimatum. Institute spokesman Ben Chang said the university recognizes his freedom of expression, but their protests are a “noisy disturbance” of the calm needed to prepare for the current final exams. A new protest began on Tuesday night when dozens of people barricaded themselves inside the historic Hamilton Hall building.

The police have intervened against demonstrators at American universities in connection with similar protests before, hundreds of people have ended up in custody in the last two weeks, some after clashes with the police. The AP reports on more than a thousand arrests on campuses across the US states.

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