Columbia Campus Cleared Of Protesters, Dozens Arrested

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Columbia Campus Cleared Of Protesters, Dozens Arrested

| Updated: May 1, 2024 13:22

NYPD officers entered the occupied building, Hamilton Hall, earlier on Tuesday night

New York City police arrested dozens of pro-Palestinian protesters from the Columbia University campus. Amid shouts of ‘shame on you’, the police led handcuffed protesters out and put them on buses, nearly 24 hours after they took over an academic building.

The police said they have cleared protesters from the campus, including a tent camp on the university’s lawns that had been put up nearly two weeks ago. NYPD officers entered the occupied building, Hamilton Hall, earlier on Tuesday night through a second-storey window, using ladders.

One student said about “80-100” police officers stormed Hamilton Hall. Local reports added that ‘flash bang’ devices were used to disorient the protesters.

The scene has quietened now and students who were stuck outside during the stand-off have begun to return to campus. 

Columbia University authorised the raid after demonstrators did not disperse in spite of being given a deadline. After the hall was “occupied, vandalised and blockaded, we were left with no choice”, the university said.

President Biden has said demonstrations should be peaceful, but “forcibly taking over buildings is not peaceful – it is wrong”.

US universities have been gripped by protests as students are demanding a boycott of companies and individuals which have ties to Israel.   

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