NYPD arrests dozens within anti-Israel Columbia encampment, Ilhan Omar's daughter suspended

‘This group [of protesters] has been informed numerous times and in writing that they are not permitted to occupy this space, are in violation of the University’s rules and policies and must disperse,’ Columbia’s president wrote.

The NYPD dispersed the group, arresting dozens of the demonstrators.

During a large anti-Israel protest on Columbia University’s campus, Columbia University Apartheid Divestment today warned students that “the police are preparing to come in. Prison busses [sic] have massed outside the campus and it appears they are preparing to use them.” 

The group urged followers to “[w]alk out of class, walk out of the libraries, walk out of the dorms, walk out of the halls, rally to protect the encampment,” referring to the protesters’ “Gaza Solidarity Encampment,” as previously reported.

New York Police Department (NYPD)officers entered the encampment where protesters were seen sitting with linked arms, as shown in video posted to X.

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Additional footage posted by Breakthrough News shows protesters chanting and comparing the NYPD to the KKK. The video caption stated that “NYPD have begun arresting members of the Columbia University Palestine solidarity encampment.”

Columbia President Minouche Shafik decided to remove the protesters, and dozens of the demonstrators were arrested, according to the New York Post

Several protesting students from Barnard College, which is affiliated with Columbia, were suspended, including Isra Hirsi, the daughter of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.)

Rep. Omar has made comments considered by many to be anti-Semitic in the past.

Columbia gave the protesters a written warning stating: “This notice is a final request from the University that you immediately cease your participation in this encampment and leave the campus. If you are a Columbia student and you do not adhere to this final request by 9:00 p.m. today, April 17, 2024, the University will take the interim measure of suspending you pending investigation for possible violation of multiple University policies.” 

A Columbia spokesperson told Campus Reform that “Students who are participating in the unauthorized encampment are suspended,” adding. “We are continuing to identify them and will be sending out formal notifications.”

The spokesperson also referred Campus Reform to a letter that Shafik wrote requesting the NYPD’s help, which stated: “This group [of protesters] has been informed numerous times and in writing that they are not permitted to occupy this space, are in violation of the University’s rules and policies and must disperse. All University students participating in the encampment have been informed they are suspended. At this time, the participants in the encampment are not authorized to be on University property and are trespassing.” 

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“I have determined that the encampment and related disruptions pose a clear and present danger to the substantial functioning of the University. With great regret, we request the NYPD’s help to remove these individuals,” the letter continued. 

The spokesperson further referred Campus Reform to a statement Shafik released today to the Ivy League school’s community, stating: “The individuals who established the encampment violated a long list of rules and policies. . . . I regret that all of these attempts to resolve the situation were rejected by the students involved. As a result, NYPD officers are now on campus and the process of clearing the encampment is underway.”

“The current encampment violates all of the new policies, severely disrupts campus life, and creates a harassing and intimidating environment for many of our students,” the statement continued. 

Campus Reform has reached out to Columbia’s Students for Justice in Palestine and Apartheid Divest for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.