May 21, 2024

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Banned students: New York police intervene on Columbia University campus

Banned students: New York police intervene on Columbia University campus

New York police entered the Columbia University campus Tuesday evening, the epicenter of the pro-Palestinian movement against America's war in Gaza, to evacuate demonstrators who had barricaded themselves in a building since the night before.

• Read more: Students barricaded themselves in a building at Columbia University

• Read more: Pro-Palestinian students refuse to leave Columbia University

Reminiscent of the anti-Vietnam War protests of the late 1960s, American student anger has spread for two weeks from major universities on the East Coast through the South and Central to those in California.

Just after 1:00 p.m. GMT on Wednesday, dozens of police officers entered the Columbia campus in Manhattan, AFP journalists observed on site. Minutes later, a police truck with a ladder approached the occupied building, and reporters could see officers climbing to reach a window to gain entry.


Barricades were erected

A few dozen protesters secured the first building last night, Hamilton Hall, thanks to a human chain, sanitary masks on their faces and keffiyehs on their heads.

Condemning the “encroachment,” Columbia spokesman Ben Chang had earlier accused them of “vandalism, vandalism and blocking access” to Hamilton Hall and threatened to “remove” them from the university. The pro-Palestinian group “Columbia University Apartheid Dissociation” renamed the building “Hinds Hall” in tribute to the six-year-old girl killed in Gaza.


“We will not leave,” the group declared, adding that some activists also camped on a campus lawn.

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The Presidency of Colombia began on Monday to administratively “suspend” the students who refused to leave the “village” of the tents.

Six months before a presidential election in the polarized country, the student movement worries the White House.


President Joe Biden, Israel's “unwavering” ally, criticized the rekindled tensions in Colombia, which trains the elite: “Forcibly occupying a university building is the wrong approach” and “an example does not represent a peaceful demonstration”. John Kirby, White House National Security Council spokesman.


Former President Donald Trump and outgoing Joe Biden will also need the youth vote, with Republican Party Chairman Mike Johnson denouncing “total lawlessness and chaos on campuses in America” ​​and “anti-Semitism and failure.” To protect Jewish students”

He called for the resignation of Colombia's president, Minuch Shafiq.


Pro-Palestinian protesters are demanding that their universities sever ties with patrons or businesses associated with Israel.

Colombia refuses.

But another elite Northeastern campus, Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, announced a deal with students: In October it would dismantle the camp in exchange for a university vote on “corporate exemptions that enable and profit from genocide in Gaza.”


Student Leo Corso-Clarke jumped for joy at “a great victory for this international movement and the Palestinian people.”

“Restore Order”

Across the United States, images of law enforcement brutally intervening to control riots on campuses have gone viral around the world.

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Since last weekend, hundreds of students, faculty and activists from around twenty universities have been arrested, some arrested or detained.


In California, police “evacuated and secured” two buildings at Cal Poly Humboldt University in the early hours of the morning to “restore order,” according to the establishment, and arrested 35 people.

At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a group of students took it upon themselves to raise a Palestinian flag in the center of campus before police put up American colors again, according to press reports.

These new pro-Palestinian protests in the United States have reignited an electric debate since October between free speech and accusations of anti-Semitism.

Israel is the country with the largest Jewish population in the world and millions of Arab-Muslim Americans.

The war in the Gaza Strip was sparked by an unprecedented attack by Hamas on Israeli soil, which led to the massacre of 1,170 people, mainly civilians, according to an AFP report based on official data. In response, Israel vowed to destroy the Palestinian Islamist movement and its broad military operation in Gaza killed 34,535 people, mostly civilians, according to Hamas.