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People taken into custody at NYU as pro-Palestinian campus protests escalate across U.S.

Tuesday, 23 April 2024 12:35 News

California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt, said campus is closed through Wednesday after protesters demonstrating against the war in Gaza occupied Siemens Hall on the campus in Arcata.

“The University is deeply concerned about the safety of the protestors who have barricaded themselves inside the building. The University is urgently asking that the protestors listen to directives from law enforcement that have responded and to peacefully leave the building,” it said in a statement.

It asked the campus community to avoid the area of the building, "as it is a dangerous and volatile situation."

Cal Poly Humboldt has an undergrad enrollment of around 5,800. Humboldt is on the California coast in the northwestern part of the state, near the Oregon border.

MIT students demand school call for cease-fire

Prahlad Iyengar, an MIT graduate student studying electrical engineering, was among about two dozen students who set up a tent encampment on the school’s Cambridge, Massachusetts, campus Sunday evening. They are calling for a cease-fire and are protesting what they describe as MIT’s “complicity in the ongoing genocide in Gaza,” he said.

“MIT has not even called for a cease-fire, and that’s a demand we have for sure,” Iyengar said.

He also said MIT has been sending out confusing rules about protests.

“We’re out here to demonstrate that we reserve the right to protest. It’s an essential part of living on a college campus,” Iyengar said.

A New York Police Department deputy commissioner tonight shared the letter sent by New York University to the police department asking police to clear Gaza war protesters from its Manhattan campus who refused to leave.

Deputy Commissioner Kaz Daughtry also on social media said that if called upon, the NYPD would do it again.

"There is a pattern of behavior occurring on campuses across our nation, in which individuals attempt to occupy a space in defiance of school policy,” Daughtry wrote on X. “Rest assured, in NYC the NYPD stands ready to address these prohibited and subsequently illegal actions whenever we are called upon.”

Police took multiple people into custody at NYU’s Gould Plaza while clearing the protesters, the police department said. The number of those arrested, as well as charges, were not available from police early Tuesday.

The letter from NYU posted by Daughtry said the protesters refused to leave and that the university considered them to be trespassers and asked for police help.

Fountain Walker, head of NYU Global Campus Safety, said on social media that the university had given the demonstrators until 4 p.m. to leave. Walker said that barricades had been breached and “we witnessed disorderly, disruptive, and antagonizing behavior that has interfered with the safety and security of our community.”

Columbia to offer hybrid learning for classes on main campus until summer

Classes at Columbia University’s main campus will be hybrid, if the technology permits it, until the end of the spring semester, Provost Angela V. Olinto said in guidance to the Manhattan institution, which has had demonstrations over the war in Gaza.

Faculty with classes equipped with hybrid technology “should enable them to provide virtual learning options to students who need such a learning modality,” she wrote.

Those without should hold classes remotely if students request it, she wrote. The guidance applies to the university’s main campus in Morningside Heights.

There have been large demonstrations over the war in Gaza, and last week over 100 people were arrested there after the university asked the NYPD to remove protesters who occupied a space on campus for more than 30 hours.

Columbia President President Minouche Shafik said in a letter to the university community today that "I am deeply saddened by what is happening on our campus."

"The decibel of our disagreements has only increased in recent days," Shafik said. "These tensions have been exploited and amplified by individuals who are not affiliated with Columbia who have come to campus to pursue their own agendas. We need a reset."

She added that "over the past days, there have been too many examples of intimidating and harassing behavior on our campus" and that antisemitic language will not be tolerated.

Barnard College says it has offered the students who were suspended after a 30-hour encampment protest at Columbia last week a way to get off interim suspension.

The students were suspended after police cleared the encampment, set up in support of Gaza, on April 18. New York police arrested more than 100 people.

Barnard President Laura Ann Rosenbury said in a letter today that “the vast majority of the students on interim suspension have not previously engaged in misconduct under Barnard’s rules.”

“Last night, the College sent written notices to these students offering to lift the interim suspensions, and immediately restore their access to College buildings, if they agree to follow all Barnard rules during a probationary period,” Rosenbury said.

If they do, the incident will not appear on transcripts or reportable student disciplinary records, she said.

More than 108 people were arrested during the demonstration, authorities have said.

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