Students in US intensify rallies against Gaza War nationwide


Last week, Columbia University students started a protest against Israel’s war with Hamas. By Tuesday, students from other universities were also joining in by setting up camps, taking over buildings, and not listening to requests to stop.

Protests had been happening for a few months, but got more intense after over 100 people supporting Palestine were arrested at Columbia University’s upper Manhattan campus on Thursday. Many more protesters were arrested at other schools, and now they may be charged with going into a place illegally or behaving in a disruptive way.

Because students are scared to go to Columbia, the school will do a mix of in-person and online classes for the rest of the semester. This will finish by the end of next week.

Police at the nearby New York University arrested 133 protesters on Monday. They were all released with a ticket to go to court for being disruptive. New York City Mayor Eric Adams said that police officers were hit with bottles and other things during protests this week.

In Connecticut, the police arrested 60 people who were protesting, including 47 students, at Yale University. They were taken into custody because they didn’t want to leave a area in the middle of the campus.

Yale President Peter Salovey said the protesters did not accept an offer to stop their demonstration and talk with the trustees. School officials gave a lot of warnings, then decided that the situation wasn’t safe. The police then removed the camp and arrested people.

In the Midwest, on Tuesday, there were protests at the University of Michigan and the University of Minnesota. Nearly 40 tents were set up at the University of Michigan and nine people were arrested at the University of Minnesota. Hundreds of people gathered at the Minnesota campus in the afternoon to ask for their release.

Cal Poly Humboldt on the West Coast of California will be closed until Wednesday because protesters took over a building on Monday night. Three people were taken by the police because they were protesting. The school said on its website that classes will be taught online.

Since the fighting in Gaza started, colleges and universities have had a hard time keeping students safe while also allowing them to express their opinions freely. A lot of protests that used to be allowed are now getting harsher punishments.

Harvard University in Massachusetts has closed most gates to its Harvard Yard and is only allowing people with school ID to enter, in order to avoid protests. The school put up signs that say you need permission to set up tents or tables on campus.

Christian Deleon, a Literature Ph. D student, said he knows why Harvard doesn’t want protests, but students should still be able to share their opinions.

“He said we should all be able to use these places to protest and speak out. ”

Ben Wizner, a lawyer from the American Civil Liberties Union, said that college leaders have to make very difficult choices because they are responsible for making sure that people can share their opinions, even if others don’t like them.

“He said they also need to keep students safe from being harassed, threatened, or intimidated. ” “Sometimes it’s hard to tell where the line is. ”

The New York Civil Liberties Union warned colleges not to rush to involve the police, in a statement on Tuesday.

Donna Lieberman, the head of the group, said that officials should not mix up criticizing Israel with hating Jewish people, or use hate incidents as an excuse to stop people from expressing their political views.

Leo Auerbach, a University of Michigan student, said that the different opinions about the war didn’t make him feel in danger on campus. However, he’s afraid of the “hurtful language and anti-Jewish feelings” that some people are expressing.

“Auerbach said that in order to make everyone feel like they belong on campus, different groups need to talk to each other in a helpful way. ” “And currently, no one is talking. ”

Hannah Didehbani, a senior studying physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said that the protesters were motivated by the ones at Columbia University.

“Currently, some professors at the campus are receiving money directly from Israel’s ministry of defence for their research,” she said. “We have been asking MIT to stop working with that research. ”

Protesters at the University of California, Berkeley, were inspired by the demonstrators at Columbia University. They had about 30 tents set up on Tuesday. Law student Malak Afaneh said the Columbia demonstrators are the leaders of the student movement.

Columbia’s President Minouche Shafik said she felt very sad about what’s happening on campus. Some Jewish students feel that criticism of Israel has turned into antisemitism.

US House Speaker Mike Johnson is going to visit Jewish students at the university on Wednesday. He will also talk about how to stop hate against Jewish people at college campuses during a press conference.

Columbia has a long history of protests. In 1968, many students were mad about racism and the Vietnam War, so they took over five buildings on campus. A thousand police officers came and removed them after a week, taking 700 people into custody. The news said that 100 students and 15 police officers got hurt.

Protests started on the campus after Hamas attacked southern Israel, killing about 1,200 people, most of them were civilians, and holding around 250 people hostage. In the war, Israel has killed over 34,000 people in the Gaza Strip. The local health ministry says that at least two-thirds of those killed are children and women, but they don’t separate combatants and noncombatants.


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