United States

Antisemitic riot at Columbia reaches boiling point as agitators take over academic building, barricade doors

Author: Editors Desk, Lawrence Richard Source: Fox News:
April 30, 2024 at 06:11

Hours after Columbia University began suspending students who did not abandon their anti-Israel encampment in the heart of campus, the agitators dialed up their demonstration by taking over an academic building.

Early Tuesday morning, hundreds of anti-Israel protesters at Columbia's Manhattan campus took over Hamilton Hall, an academic building used by the dean and other senior offices. The unruly group gained access shortly before 1 a.m. and then began "moving metal gates to barricade the doors, blocking entrances with wooden tables and chairs, and zip-tying doors shut," according to the student newspaper Columbia Spectator.

Other footage showed the agitators in New York smashing windows, unfurling a Palestinian flag over a window and chanting: "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free" and "Palestine will live forever." Outside the facility, the anti-Israel rebels, many of whom wore masks, locked arms in front of Hamilton Hall to form a human barricade.The students are demanding three things from the university: divest their financial support of Israel, become more transparent with the university's investments and provide blanket amnesty to students who have taken part in the disruptive, weeks-long demonstration.


Protesters locking arms
Anti-Israel protesters at Columbia University broke into the iconic Hamilton Hall building as they gathered to stage a demonstration at the New York City campus on Tuesday.


The mutiny comes after the university set a deadline of 2 p.m. on Monday for students to gather their belongings and leave their encampment of around 120 tents or face suspension.

The university confirmed that it began handing out suspensions with the aid of local and state law enforcement officers on Monday night for students who failed to leave.


Broken windows
The mob of anti-Israel agitators broke a window of the entrance door of Hamilton Hall while breaking into the facility. (Selcuk Acar/Anadolu via Getty Images)


During the unrest, New York Police Department officers arrived at the campus but did not enter it, according to the Columbia Spectator. The officers remained at the scene, outside of campus, telling the publication they would only enter if they "hear that someone’s gotten hurt."

At least three facilities workers were inside the academic building when the anti-Israel agitators stormed in, the student newspaper reported. The workers were subsequently allowed to leave at around 12:40 a.m., with one reportedly yelling "they held me hostage" as he left the building.

Members of the mob also allegedly covered the cameras inside the facility.

The group placed a banner over Hamilton Hall renaming it "Hind’s Hall," after Hind Rajab, a 6-year-old who died in Gaza during Israel’s war with Hamas.


A sign that reads, 'Hinds Hall'
The Columbia University students broke into the facility and renamed it after 6-year-old Palestinian girl Hind Rajab, who was killed in Gaza in January. (Selcuk Acar/Anadolu via Getty Images)



Tents on campus
An encampment with about 120 tents remained at Columbia University as of late Monday night. (Victor J. Blue for The Washington Post via Getty Images)


Tuesday morning’s wild unfolding came nearly two weeks after the protesters initially formed their encampment on April 18.

That same day, University President Minouche Shafik called law enforcement to sweep the "Gaza Solidarity Encampment" and arrest the agitators, which resulted in more than 100 students being arrested.


Sign hanging from the building
The rebellious group of students is demanding that the university give them blanket amnesty for their actions. (Selcuk Acar/Anadolu via Getty Images)



Student sign
The agitators are speaking critically of Israel and Jewish people, and are expressing their support for Hamas and Palestinians in Gaza. (Alex Kent/Getty Images)


After the agitators returned to their encampment and the movement showed some resilience, the university mostly allowed the antisemitic group to remain. placeholder

Officials, including Shafik, continued negotiations with organizers, seeking a peaceful resolution.


Protesters on the campus
Columbia University President Minouche Shafik called law enforcement to sweep the "Gaza Solidarity Encampment" after failed attempts to negotiate with the agitators. (Selcuk Acar/Anadolu via Getty Images)


After negotiations with agitators failed to reach a deal on Monday, Shafik again gave officers the go ahead to begin removing the students, who face suspension.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

You did not use the site, Click here to remain logged. Timeout: 60 second