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Columbia University Shifts to Remote Classes Amid Pro-Palestinian Protests

Columbia University has shifted to remote classes on Monday amidst ongoing intense pro-Palestinian protests on campus. This decision coincides with the first night of Passover, a Jewish holiday. NYPD officials have expressed concerns that the holiday might provoke extremist groups or individuals to engage in violence or intimidation.

In response to these developments, Columbia University President Dr. Minouche Shafik issued a statement to the university community just before 1:30 a.m. on Monday.

“These tensions have been explored and amplified by individuals who are not affiliated with Columbia who have come to campus to pursue their own agendas. We need a reset.”

The university has unveiled a plan to significantly bolster campus public safety measures without relying on the NYPD. This initiative involves more than doubling the campus security presence, increasing security patrols, and enhancing ID checks.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, pro-Palestinian demonstrators returned to the campus for the fifth consecutive day to show solidarity with students engaging in a sit-in protest, complete with sleeping bags and tents, on the campus lawn.

Protesters at Columbia University are demanding that the Ivy League school divest its stocks, funds, and endowment from companies they allege profit from Israel’s violations of international law and Palestinian rights.

Basheer Al Araj of the Palestinian Youth Movement expressed his motivation for protesting, stating, “The level of pain, anger, and deep love for our people is what drives me, what brings me.”

Recent video footage captured tense encounters between the NYPD and pro-Palestinian demonstrators as protests persisted over the weekend outside Columbia University.

In response to the events, Mayor Eric Adams issued a statement on Sunday condemning antisemitism and hate speech associated with the protests. He highlighted disturbing examples, such as a sign pointing to Jewish students as “Al-Qasam’s Next Targets” and individuals chanting “We don’t want no Zionists here” or declaring “We are Hamas.

” Mayor Adams emphasized that hate has no place in the city and instructed the NYPD to investigate any reported violations of the law, pledging swift action against lawbreakers.

“I am horrified and disgusted with the antisemitism being spewed at and around the Columbia University campus – like the example of a young woman holding a sign with an arrow pointing to Jewish students stating ‘Al-Qasam’s Next Targets,’ or another where a woman is literally yelling ‘We are Hamas,’ or another where groups of students are chanting ‘We don’t want no Zionists here’ – and I condemn this hate speech in the strongest of terms. Supporting a terrorist organization that aims to kill Jews is sickening and despicable. As I have repeatedly said, hate has no place in our city, and I have instructed the NYPD to investigate any violation of law that is reported. Rest assured, the NYPD will not hesitate to arrest anyone who is found to be breaking the law.”

According to police, only three individuals were arrested on Saturday, a significant decrease compared to the 113 people detained earlier in the week.


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