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The occupation of the building at Columbia University ends

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The New York police entered the building of Columbia University and removed several dozen participants of pro-Palestinian demonstrations. The university authorities called the officers. The occupation of the university building has ended.

The New York Times reported that police officers broke a window and entered Hamilton Hall, then led protesters away to law enforcement buses. University authorities said the building had been “vandalized and blocked off,” leaving them no choice but to call the police for the second time in less than two weeks.

The AP news agency reported that hundreds of officers arrived wearing helmets and carrying shields used to quell riots. Demonstrators occupied Hamilton Hall more than 12 hours earlier. 30 to 40 people were taken out of there. The entire operation – as the Reuters source said – lasted about three hours.

Reuters reported that police officers entered the building through a second-floor window using a police car with a ladder. Students standing nearby shouted “Shame!”

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Police officers enter Hamilton Hall at Columbia UniversitySTEPHANI SPINDEL/PAP/EPA

The police led several dozen detainees onto the bus, each with their hands tied behind their backs, and the entire scene was illuminated by the flashing red and blue lights of police cars. “Free Palestine,” protesters chanted in front of the building. Others shouted: “Let the students go,” Reuters reported.

Mayor's appeal

New York Mayor Eric Adams warned on Tuesday that pro-Palestinian protests were paralyzing the university. “Continue your actions in a different way. This must end now,” the official appealed.

Adams claimed on Tuesday that the protests at Columbia were initiated by “professional outside agitators,” the AP reported, noting that the mayor did not provide specific evidence to support this thesis, which was disputed by the organizers and participants of the protest.

Detention of participants of a pro-Palestinian protest STEPHANI SPINDEL/PAP/EPA

Before the officers entered the campus, the New York Police received a notice from Columbia authorizing them to take action.

The university authorities had previously threatened to expel students who occupied the Hamilton Hall building. Protesters hung a banner there with the inscription “Hind's Hall”, symbolically changing the name of the building in honor of a 6-year-old Palestinian child killed in the Gaza Strip by the Israeli army.

Detention of participants of a pro-Palestinian protest STEPHANI SPINDEL/PAP/EPA

From California to Massachusetts

Protests at Columbia University initiated demonstrations in the USA – from California to Massachusetts. So far, over a thousand protesters have been arrested in the states of Texas, Utah, Virginia, North Carolina, New Mexico, Connecticut, Louisiana, California, and New York and New Jersey.

On Tuesday, the White House condemned the riots at Columbia University, as well as at California Polytechnic State University in Humboldt, where 25 people were arrested.

“President Joe Biden believes that students occupying academic buildings is an absolutely inappropriate approach and is not an example of peaceful protest,” said John Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council.

“Israel and its supporters have branded the university protests anti-Semitic, while Israel's critics say it is using the allegations to silence the protests. While cameras captured some protesters making anti-Semitic slogans or making violent threats, their organizers, some of whom are Jewish, say that it is a peaceful movement whose goal is to defend Palestinian rights and protest against the war,” the AP noted.

Main photo source: STEPHANI SPINDEL/PAP/EPA



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