New York City police
AP News

New York City police officers enters Columbia University campus

On Tuesday evening, a significant contingent of New York City police officers started moving into Columbia University as a group of pro-Palestinian demonstrators continued their presence on the campus.

New York City police
AP News

Just before the police entered the campus, the New York Police Department received authorization from Columbia University to intervene, according to a law enforcement official who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the situation.

After entering the campus, a group of police officers headed towards Hamilton Hall, the administration building that students had been occupying since the morning.

Despite the police clearing an encampment at the university on April 18 and arresting over 100 people, the students defiantly set up tents again. They had been protesting on the Manhattan campus since the previous day, denouncing Israeli military action in Gaza and urging the school to divest from companies they believe are benefiting from the conflict.

As commencement ceremonies in May draw near, protests have erupted on campuses from California to Massachusetts, adding pressure on schools to disperse the demonstrators.

Over the past two weeks, more than 1,000 protesters have been arrested on campuses in states including Texas, Utah, Virginia, North Carolina, New Mexico, Connecticut, Louisiana, California, and New Jersey, with some incidents involving violent clashes with police in riot gear.

“Walk away from this situation now and continue your advocacy through other means,” advised New York City Mayor Eric Adams to the Columbia protesters on Tuesday afternoon. “This must end now.”

The White House condemned the standoffs at Columbia and California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt, where protesters had occupied two buildings until officers with batons intervened overnight and arrested 25 people. Officials estimated the total damage at the northern California campus to be upwards of $1 million.

According to National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby, President Joe Biden views the occupation of an academic building by students as “absolutely the wrong approach” and “not an example of peaceful protest.”

In an effort to ensure peaceful commencement ceremonies, other colleges have attempted to negotiate agreements with the demonstrators. However, it remains unclear whether ongoing cease-fire negotiations will lead to a reduction in protests.

Northwestern University achieved a rare success when officials announced a compromise with students and faculty, who represent the majority of protesters on its campus near Chicago, allowing for peaceful demonstrations until the end of spring classes.

Also Read, West Virginia Middle School Students Banned for Protesting Trans Athlete

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