Protesters Take Over Columbia’s Hamilton Hall

( – Columbia University authorities said they will expel protestors who took over a campus building, locked the doors, and hung a Palestinian flag from the window. The university is the scene of ongoing anti-Israel demonstrations that have so far resulted in more than 100 arrests. Students in several other universities across the US followed suit, and in California, protestors broke through barriers and traded blows with opponents.

In the latest Columbia development, a Facebook post invited students to occupy Hamilton Hall, which they renamed Hind Hall in honor of Hind Rajab, a child who died during the months-long war between Israel and the designated terrorist group Hamas.

The occupation began hours after a deadline to abandon demonstrations passed, and students were warned to remove more than 120 tents from Columbia’s lawns. Spokesperson Ben Chang said college authorities had given demonstrators every opportunity to end the situation peacefully, but they chose to take a path that will now lead to their expulsion.

President Biden has condemned the protests as antisemitic, and a Jewish student has filed a lawsuit against the university for failing to provide a safe environment. The student’s attorney, Jay Edelson, said the events at Columbia go far beyond legitimate protest against the Israeli government’s military campaign. He stated that Jewish students were subjected to harassment, prevented from attending class, and even spat at and physically assaulted.

Amid similar scenes, police arrested more than 100 students in Boston on the same evening. Northeastern University officials tweeted that the demonstrations were “infiltrated” by professional organizers who were not associated with the college.

Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein was detained at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and California State Polytechnic said it had moved to remote learning and closed its classrooms.

In Europe, students in Berlin and Paris established comparable encampments on city campuses. Paris authorities subsequently suspended funding for Sciences Po, one of France’s most prestigious schools. Valérie Pécresse, a senior Parisian politician, denounced the actions as “antisemitic hatred.”

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