Campus Protests Spark More Arrests, Resignation Demands

Pro-Palestinian supporters set up a protest encampment on the campus of Columbia University
Pro-Palestinian supporters set up a protest encampment on the campus of Columbia University on April 22, 2024 in New York City. | Image by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Amid mounting tensions fueled by anti-Israel protests on university campuses nationwide, calls for the resignation of Columbia University President Dr. Nemat “Minouche” Shafik have intensified as students face mass arrests during similar demonstrations across the country.

All 10 House Republicans from New York have joined the chorus, highlighting what they perceive as Shafik’s failure to maintain a safe learning environment. Led by House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, the lawmakers penned a letter citing Shafik’s handling of recent events, including her congressional testimony regarding accusations of antisemitism on campus.

The criticism against Shafik extends beyond party lines. Republicans accuse her of lax enforcement of policies, contributing to what they describe as “anarchy” on campus. On the other hand, she has faced backlash from left-wing activists for her decision to allow NYPD officers to arrest protesters at a tent encampment.

Democratic Representative Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, who witnessed the protests at Columbia University firsthand, voiced his concerns about student safety to Fox News. He stopped short of calling for Shafik’s resignation but stated that it was time for university officials to take action to address antisemitism on campus.

Some Jewish students have taken to social media to report instances of physical and verbal targeting by anti-Israel protesters, expressing fears for their safety, as previously highlighted by The Dallas Express.

As classes shift to a remote status due to safety concerns, the pressure on Shafik to restore order and ensure a safe environment for students continues to build.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, the protest at Columbia University initially focused on the university’s investments in companies tied to Israel. Similar protests and demonstrations have spread to some 200 colleges and universities nationwide, including the University of Michigan, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Emerson College, Tufts University, and New York University (NYU).

Protesters wielding flares marched toward NYPD headquarters late Monday night following the arrest of over 130 individuals at NYU earlier in the day. Videos circulating online depict protesters brandishing bright flares and chanting slogans such as “Gaza” while others waved flags and banged on drums.

The initial protests on campus began peacefully, yet quickly turned contentious as demonstrators voiced their grievances against what they perceive as injustices perpetrated by the Israeli government, per the New York Post. The protesters demanded that the university divest from weapons manufacturers and terminate its relationship with Tel Aviv University.

Notably, several faculty members from NYU were observed joining the rally, linking arms in an apparent attempt to prevent the NYPD from intervening further, according to the New York Post. According to reports, 133 protesters were arrested as the demonstration at NYU’s Gould Plaza was dispersed.

Yale University also reported 47 arrests on Monday evening, highlighting the current instability among certain campuses within the country during this wave of pro-Hamas protests.

Support our non-profit journalism

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Continue reading on the app
Expand article