Sunday, May 19, 2024

Major police action against Gaza protesters at Columbia University


The police take protesters away from the university campus. Photo: Julius Motal / AP / NTB

Of NTB | 01.05.2024 07:45:12

Crime and justice: Television images show police officers wearing helmets and shields entering the university, located in upper Manhattan. They also brought strips for use in the event of arrests.

This happened at 9pm on Tuesday. Barely two hours later, the announcement came that the administration building, Hamilton Hall, had been cleared of protesters.

The protesters occupied the building earlier in the day. According to the AP news agency, tens of police officers entered the building through a window, and between 30 and 40 protesters must have been removed from the building.

The police made it clear earlier in the day that they were not going to enter the area unless the administration asked for it, or an emergency situation arose.

– After the university became aware overnight that Hamilton Hall had been occupied, vandalized and blocked, we had no choice, says an announcement from the university.

– The decision to ask the New York police for help was a reaction to the actions of the protesters, not the cause they are fighting for, it continues.

Columbia University has been at the center of the wave of Gaza demonstrations on campuses across the US in recent weeks. The demonstrations have led to an intense debate about where school leaders should draw the line between freedom of speech and hate speech.

Jewish students have also participated in the demonstrations, while others have accused the demonstrators of shouting anti-Semitic slogans and of making universities unsafe for Jewish students. The accusations are rejected by the protesters, who believe that the accusations of anti-Semitism are a pretext to stop the protests.

Both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump have condemned the protests.

Earlier on Tuesday, the management of Columbia University threatened with academic suspension of students who participated in the house occupation.

In the last two weeks, there has also been a tent camp on the university campus.

Police also entered the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Tuesday to remove a protest camp. Certain demonstrators are said to have been arrested in the action.

The week-long demonstration at the educational institution Cal Poly Humboldt in California also ended in dramatic fashion on Tuesday, when the police moved in and arrested almost 30 demonstrators.

It is university rector Minouche Shafik who asked the police for help to clear the areas, and she has asked the police to remain at the university until at least 17 May.

It is also said that the educational institution’s security personnel were forced out of the building and that an employee was threatened.

The protesters demand that the universities cut all business relations they may have with Israeli companies, something the university has refused to do.

In recent weeks, more than 1,000 protesters have been arrested on campuses in the United States, including in Texas, Utah, Virginia, North Carolina, New Mexico, Connecticut, Louisiana, California and New Jersey. In several places, there have been violent clashes between students and the police.

(© NTB)


© Jaun News English