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100 Protesters Arrested After Columbia U Calls In NYPD

As more universities struggle to balance free-speech rights with shielding students from harassment and threats of violence, Columbia University officials summoned New York police to respond to a student protest over the Israel-Hamas war. Police arrested 108 protesters in the day following the university’s president testimony before Congress in which she signaled a tougher stance on speech deemed anti-semitic, reports The Wall Street Journal. Columbia president Minouche Shafik called in police help after saying the protesters’ encampment posed a “clear and present danger" and violated university policies.


The protesters were issued summonses for trespassing, and two were also given desk appearance tickets for obstruction of governmental administration, police said. The protest was organized by student groups demanding the university financially divest from corporations connected to Israel. The coalition members said in a statement Thursday that they would remain in the encampment until Columbia complied with their demands or took them away forcefully. The war in Gaza has put pressure on and divided campuses across the U.S. Columbia has faced pressure to do better in protecting Jewish students from antisemitism, while Palestinian advocates have said Columbia has treated them unfairly, including suspending pro-Palestinian student groups. Advocates for Palestinians say universities are suppressing their speech rights for expressing their anger over Israel’s actions in Gaza. 

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