Columbia University witnesses massive faculty walkout after dozens of student arrests at pro-Palestinian protests - Hindustan Times
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Columbia University witnesses massive faculty walkout after dozens of student arrests at pro-Palestinian protests

Apr 23, 2024 06:46 AM IST

Columbia University faculty condemned the institution for calling the police on student protestors who'd set encampments for pro-Palestinian demonstrations.

In a power move, a multitude of Columbia University faculty members conducted a walkout on Monday in solidarity with arrested students at last week's pro-Palestinian protest. Hundreds of teachers demonstrated their angry departure as encampment protest tents were reinstated on campus after being taken down after hundreds of student arrests.

Scenes from Columbia University as seen in a post gone viral on social media.(X)
Scenes from Columbia University as seen in a post gone viral on social media.(X)

Columbia faculty held an unbelievably massive demonstration to protest the university's act of calling the police on the students. Considering the present scenario, in-person classes remain suspended as the institution announced remote classes would be held.

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Pro-Palestinian protests at US university campuses

As tensions boil over the pressing Israel-Hamas war, dozens of Yale students were also arrested in protests, with Harvard Yale closed to the public on Monday. In the meantime, institutions struggle to strike a balance between permitting free expression and restoring safety for an inclusive campus life.

Beyond the gates of Ivy League schools, pro-Palestinian encampments have emerged on other illustrious campuses, such as New York University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of Michigan.

Also read | Over 40 pro-Palestine protestors held at Yale University amid antisemitism row in US campuses

NYC's Columbia University also shut its gates to anyone without an official school ID. University President Nemat Minouche Shafik, who was “deeply saddened” by the state of affairs, ultimately implemented virtual classes and advised students not living on campus to stay away from the premises.

Suggesting a “reset,” she highlighted that as these protests were being led outside the institution's gates, they'd been blown up by people who were not even affiliated with the university. The ongoing demonstrations have severely divided students as well - to which Shafik condemned student protests, particularly due to rising instances of Jewish students being harrassed and the prevalence of antisemitic language.

On the other hand, students turned the “hate” narrative on its head, claiming that their protests are not antisemitic, but peaceful and inclusive instead. They blamed “inflammatory individuals who do not represent” them as inciting the problem at hand.

All these on-campus problems have bubbled out of control even more so since Shafik brought in New York police to clamp down on student-led protests, following which, over 100 protestors were apprehended on Thursday.

 

 

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