Creating new perspectives since 2009

Approximately 300 people detained at Columbia University, City College

May 1, 2024 at 3:45 pm

New York Police Department officers detain dozens of pro-Palestinian students at Columbia University after they barricaded themselves at the Hamilton Hall building near Gaza Solidarity Encampment earlier in New York, United States on April 30, 2024. [Selçuk Acar – Anadolu Agency]

New York City police arrested 300 people late yesterday at Columbia University and City College of New York at demonstrations calling for an end to the genocide in Gaza, Mayor Eric Adams said today.

The student movement began at Columbia University in the US, organised by the Students for Justice in Palestine movement, whose members set up their tents in the university’s courtyard on 17 April. This led to the disruption of classes in all the university’s departments. Despite the protests being peaceful, the university president called the police to arrest the demonstrators, causing other students and faculty members to join the protestors’ encampment.

Riot police were sent on to campuses and students and faculty members were slammed to the ground and arrested.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams has previously declared that New York “unequivocally stands with Israel” and, in a statement last week, said: “I am horrified and disgusted with the anti-Semitism being spewed at and around the Columbia University campus.” Highlighting examples of such “hate speech”, he said it included  “groups of students are chanting ‘We don’t want no Zionists here’.”

Israel and its allies have conflated criticism of the apartheid state with anti-Jewish hatred, however the recent protests have provided further proof that the two are not linked. Many of the students who have taken part in the protests are Jews who have said Israel’s actions in Gaza are not in their name, highlighting that they stand against the Zionist regime and its action against Palestinians.

READ: Gaza revives student movement in the US