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Protesters Occupy Columbia University Building

Columbia University protest (Credits: CNN)

Pro-Palestinian protesters at Columbia University took control of an academic building, Hamilton Hall, on Tuesday, as demonstrations against the Israel-Hamas war continue to spread across US college campuses.

The protesters barricaded entrances, flew a Palestinian flag, and renamed the building “Hind’s Hall” in honor of a six-year-old Palestinian girl killed in the conflict.

Columbia University Protests (Credits: The Hindu)

The demonstrators, part of the CU Apartheid Divest coalition, are demanding divestment, financial transparency, and amnesty from the university.

They have vowed to remain in the building until their demands are met. This occupation echoes previous student movements at Columbia, including a 1968 civil rights and anti-Vietnam War protest.

The university has limited access to the campus, citing safety concerns, and has asked non-essential personnel to stay away. Over 1,000 people have been arrested on campuses nationwide as protests intensify.

While the protests have gained international support, some Jewish students have reported feeling unsafe, and the university has banned a student protest leader who made threatening comments against Zionists.

Columbia University Protests (Credits: Middle East Online)

The White House has condemned the leader’s remarks, calling them “appalling” and “dangerous.” President Biden has reiterated his stance against hate speech, violent rhetoric, and antisemitism.

The situation remains tense, with protesters determined to push for their demands and the university prioritizing safety and order on campus.

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