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More than 130 people arrested during pro-Palestinian protests at NYU

April 24, 2024 at 1:52 pm

Police intervene and arrest more than 100 students at New York University (NYU) who continue their demonstration on campus in solidarity with the students at Columbia University and to oppose Israel’s attacks on Gaza, in New York, United States on April 22, 2024 [Fatih Aktaş – Anadolu Agency]

More than 130 people were arrested yesterday evening during pro-Palestinian protests on the New York University campus, with student demonstrations gaining momentum in the US against the backdrop of the ongoing war on Gaza.

The New York Police Department announced the arrest and release of 133 people, with protest movements also accelerating at Yale and Columbia universities and other colleges.

As the Jewish Passover holiday began on Monday night, police began a campaign of arrests against protestors at an encampment set up on the NYU campus.

An NYU spokesman said that the decision to request police intervention came after an additional number of protesters, many of whom are believed not to be NYU students, breached the barriers erected around the encampment.

A statement by the spokesman, published by the university on its website, said that this development “dramatically changed” the situation, citing “disorderly, disruptive and antagonising behaviour” along with “intimidated chants and several anti-Semitic incidents.”

The spokesman added: “Given the foregoing and the safety issues raised by the breach, we asked for assistance from the NYPD. The police urged those on the plaza to leave peacefully, but ultimately made a number of arrests.”

The university continues to support freedom of expression and the safety of its students, the spokesperson said.

Protest movements began last week at Columbia University in New York, with a number of demonstrators setting up a “Gaza solidarity encampment” on the college campus.

However, more than 100 protesters were arrested after university authorities called the police on Thursday, in a move that appeared to have escalated tensions and prompted a larger number of people to participate in the action over the weekend.

Footage circulated on social media on Monday night appeared to show pro-Palestinian Jewish students holding a traditional Passover seder in protest areas on several campuses, including Columbia University.

Demonstrations were also held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the universities of Michigan and Yale, where at least 47 people were arrested on Monday after they refused orders to disperse the gathering.

READ: Police arrest pro-Palestinian activists at Columbia University in scenes reminiscent of Vietnam war protests