United States

US University Protests Updates: House Passes Antisemitism Bill, Violent Clashes, Police Interventions, Classes Cancelled And More

Protests intensify at universities nationwide as over 100 are arrested amid clashes with law enforcement. Columbia University and UCLA become focal points of tensions amid escalating demonstrations for and against Israel's actions in Gaza.

UCLA Campus Protests Getty Images
Introduction

Demonstrations on college campuses nationwide are escalating as clashes between law enforcement and protesters intensify. Students advocating for divestment from companies backing Israel and the conflict in Gaza risk arrest or expulsion.

Police have arrived on campus at the University of California, Los Angeles, following a violent clash between pro-Palestinian demonstrators and supporters of Israel.

Earlier today, more than 100 protesters were detained at Columbia University and City College of New York, as confirmed by a law enforcement source. At Columbia, authorities cleared protesters from encampments and an occupied building. The university has requested the presence of the NYPD on campus until May 17.

The police action at Columbia on Tuesday coincided precisely with the 56th anniversary of a similar incident in 1968 when officers entered Hamilton Hall to arrest protesters who had occupied the building.

Since April 18, over 1,000 individuals have been apprehended at more than 25 campuses spanning at least 21 states.

Read more on the escalating protests here.

UCLA Campus Witnesses Violent Clashes: Reports

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators and Israel supporters engaged in a violent confrontation at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), according to multiple news sources.

The clash occurred following UCLA Chancellor Gene Block's declaration that a pro-Palestinian encampment on campus was "unlawful" on Tuesday evening.

UCLA Protest Escalation: Heightened Security, LAPD Response, and Uncertain Injuries

Chancellor Block stated that the university had heightened security measures and warned that students remaining in the encampment would be subject to disciplinary measures. The encampment "is unlawful and violates university policy,” Block declared in a statement. According to The Daily Bruin, there was a confrontation between protesters and counter-protesters, with fireworks being launched into the encampment.

Zach Seidl, spokesperson for the Los Angeles Mayor's office, announced in a post on X that the mayor had communicated with Chancellor Block and Chief Choi. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is promptly responding to Chancellor Block's request for assistance on campus. The extent of injuries, if any, remains uncertain, reports CNN.

Police Deployed to UCLA Amid Violent Clashes

Mayor Karen Bass stated early Wednesday that the Los Angeles Police Department has reached the UCLA campus, in response to escalating tensions between pro-Palestinian protesters and Israel supporters. "The violence unfolding this evening at UCLA is absolutely abhorrent and inexcusable," the mayor expressed in a message on X.

Prior to the arrival of law enforcement, clashes had erupted between the opposing groups, as reported by various sources. Footage from CNN affiliate KABC depicts scenes of fireworks, objects being thrown, and physical violence among demonstrators.

What Happened at the Protests at Columbia University?

Over 100 individuals were arrested at Columbia University and City College of New York on Tuesday evening, according to a law enforcement source, amidst escalating protests against Israel's war on Gaza that have spread across college campuses nationwide.

Police, clad in riot gear, entered Columbia University's Hamilton Hall and used flash bangs to enter the building, where pro-Palestinian demonstrators had barricaded themselves. Less than two hours later, law enforcement had cleared the university's Morningside Heights campus.

Columbia has requested NYPD presence on campus until May 17, extending past their graduation ceremony, yet protesters remain resolute.

While Columbia has been a focal point, similar demonstrations have erupted on campuses throughout the country.

Read more about the Columbia University arrests here.

LAPD Assists UCLA Amid Campus Violence, Governor Monitoring Situation

The LAPD also announced Wednesday morning they were responding to aid the UCLA Police Department in a message on X.

“At the request of UCLA, due to multiple acts of violence within the large encampment on their campus, the LAPD is responding to assist UCLA PD, and other law enforcement agencies, to restore order and maintain public safety,” stated LAPD.

California Governor Gavin Newsom's office affirmed they were closely following the UCLA situation.

“Law enforcement leaders are in contact this evening and resources are being mobilized,” Newsom’s office confirmed.

Police On Columbia And UCLA Campuses

More than 100 individuals were arrested during intense clashes between police and pro-Palestinian demonstrators at Columbia University and City College of New York. Police in riot gear stormed Columbia's Hamilton Hall, deploying flash bangs to disperse protesters barricaded inside.

Meanwhile, tensions flared at UCLA, prompting Mayor Karen Bass to condemn the violence unfolding on campus as "absolutely abhorrent and inexcusable."

Also, Columbia University has requested the continued presence of the NYPD until May 17, extending beyond their upcoming graduation ceremony, yet protesters exhibit defiance.

Chemical Irritant Used By University Of Arizona Police

Amid ongoing protests on the University of Arizona campus, the university's police department (UAPD) deployed "chemical irritant munitions" and advised residents to steer clear of the area.

Reports indicate that UAPD responded to an "unlawful assembly" overnight, prompting them to urge protesters to disperse before resorting to the use of the irritant.

Tulane University Shifts Classes Online

Amid ongoing protests at Tulane University in New Orleans, some classes will be held remotely, with the campus heavily patrolled by police.

The university stated, "This encampment is on the edge of campus and heavily patrolled by police."

Six individuals, including a student, have been arrested. Video footage shows officers in riot gear facing off against protesters.

University officials are investigating reports of staff involvement in the protests and have warned of disciplinary action, reported CNN.

UCLA Protesters Clash Using Debris and Fireworks

Overnight, protesters at the University of California, Los Angeles, engaged in confrontations, using boards and debris as weapons. Videos captured the chaotic scene, showing individuals hurling metal and wood items while others defended themselves with plywood and umbrellas.

Some protesters wielded unconventional items like tennis rackets and skateboards. Amid chants of "USA," the motives behind the clashes remained unclear. One protestor also stated, “You gonna block Jewish kids? Let’s see. We’re fighting back, b----!”

Instances of nuisance activities like fireworks, loud music, and laser pointers were reported, with sporadic physical altercations occurring. Law enforcement, including the Los Angeles Police Department, intervened to manage the situation, establishing a perimeter to contain the clashes

Cal Poly Humboldt Plans Modified Commencement

California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt, situated in Arcata, has declared it will conduct a modified in-person commencement ceremony on May 11, following the successful intervention of law enforcement officials who regained control of two buildings on Tuesday morning. The occupation, which lasted multiple days, prompted a lockdown of the campus.

The university disclosed that additional specifics regarding the modified commencement schedule will be disclosed later this week.

A shelter-in-place advisory was instated by the university earlier this week in response to what it termed as "criminal activity on campus," as mentioned in a press release.

On early Tuesday, law enforcement authorities successfully cleared and secured two halls on campus – Siemens Hall and Nelson Hall East – and apprehended 31 individuals, according to the university's statement.

The shelter-in-place directive was lifted by Cal Poly officials on Tuesday afternoon, though the "hard closure of campus" will persist until May 10.

"Access to campus remains restricted, with individuals not permitted to enter or be on campus without prior authorization. Supervisors will be in contact with those employees who are authorized to be on campus," the university remarked.

Over 200 Detained At Columbia University

Reports from law enforcement sources indicate that the New York Police Department apprehended approximately 230 individuals at Columbia University on Tuesday. The arrests came after officers in riot gear entered a campus building where pro-Palestinian demonstrators had barricaded themselves, ultimately clearing the area.

Additionally, numerous arrests were reportedly made a few blocks away at the City College of New York.

NYPD Evaluates Duration Of Presence At Columbia University Campus

In response to Columbia University's request for an extended presence until mid-May, the New York Police Department is currently deliberating on the duration and extent of their stay, as per a law enforcement official speaking to CNN.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams, alongside NYPD Commissioner Edward A. Caban and other officials, will address concerns regarding ongoing demonstrations at Columbia University and City College in a scheduled news briefing at 9 am.

Pipes, Tasers, And Pepper Spray Used In UCLA Clash

According to Anna Dai-Liu, a UCLA Daily Bruin editor, Tuesday night's clash between pro-Palestinian and Israel supporters involved the use of pipes, Tasers, and pepper spray.

Dai-Liu described the chaotic scene to CNN, noting the uncertainty surrounding tear gas deployment. "It’s been a rather chaotic day of events at UCLA," she remarked, emphasizing the unprecedented violence.

Police Detain 14 Protesters, Including 2 Students, At Tulane University

Tulane University has confirmed that authorities removed protesters from its campus on Wednesday, as stated in a release.

The university mentioned that students involved in the "unlawful encampment" received several warnings before officers from the New Orleans Police Department and Louisiana State Police intervened.

The university clarified that "the vast majority of the protestors are not affiliated with our community."

According to the statement, law enforcement arrested at least 14 protesters, among whom were two Tulane students. Earlier in the week, six individuals were detained, with one student facing charges of "trespassing, resisting arrest, and assaulting an officer."

Seven students have been temporarily suspended, the statement added, and those who took part in the demonstration "have also been reported to the Office of Student Conduct for immediate disciplinary measures."

As per the university, Wednesday marks the final day of classes for most students, with classes scheduled in three closed buildings transitioning to remote instruction.

Students Reflect On Vietnam War Protests Amid Calls For BDS Support

For years, student groups advocating for Palestinian rights have urged their universities to endorse the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. Despite this, no US university has fully embraced BDS, although some have severed specific financial connections in the past.

While critics doubt the effectiveness of divestment in influencing conflicts like the one in Gaza, protesters argue that it would spotlight those profiting from war and raise awareness about their cause.

Simultaneously, activists at Columbia University and other campuses have drawn attention to the protests against American involvement in the Vietnam War during the late 1960s. Read more.

10 Arrested As University Of South Florida Protest Turns Violent

Authorities at the University of South Florida (USF) took action on Tuesday, breaking up a demonstration that had gathered on campus grounds. Initially peaceful, the protest escalated as some participants allegedly planned to use items as weapons and resist university staff and law enforcement officers.

The group, consisting of around 75 to 100 individuals, attracted attention early in the day. However, tensions rose as the protest progressed, prompting intervention from USF police and other law enforcement agencies.

Despite repeated warnings to disperse, a portion of the demonstrators refused to comply. Subsequently, ten individuals were arrested by authorities. Among those arrested, one was found to be carrying a concealed firearm, further heightening concerns for public safety.

Unaffiliated Individuals Lead Break-in at Columbia Building: Reports

New York City Mayor Eric Adams disclosed in a press briefing on Wednesday morning that the intrusion into Hamilton Hall on the Columbia campus involved some students but was orchestrated by individuals "unconnected to the university."

According to Adams, the university sought assistance from the NYPD to clear both Hamilton Hall and the surrounding areas, where tents had been set up. This joint operation was successful in reclaiming the hall and removing the encampments.

The mayor stated that approximately 300 individuals have been arrested, with efforts underway to discern who among them were students and who were not authorized to be on campus.

Over 2,000 Protests in NYC Since October 7, Says Police Chief

New York's Police Chief, Edward A. Caban, revealed that the city's police force has attended over 2,400 protests since October 7. Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Caban emphasized that approximately 1,100 of these protests were linked to the events in Israel and Palestine.

He stressed the department's commitment to ensuring the safety of protesters and upholding their right to free speech at each demonstration.

Columbia Campus Quiets Down

Columbia University woke up to a quiet morning on Wednesday, a stark change from the noisy demonstrations of the previous night. NYPD took action to clear protesters from the campus, with crews seen cleaning up and dismantling tents around 12:40 a.m. ET.

Photos taken on Wednesday morning revealed broken glass panes on the main doors of Hamilton Hall. The heavy metal patio furniture, like picnic tables and wooden chairs, previously used to barricade doors, had been removed.

Access to the campus remains restricted, with only essential service staff and resident students allowed entry.

NYPD Considers Sending More Cops to Columbia Campus for Safety

The New York Police Department is thinking about sending around 15 to 20 officers to Columbia University to keep the campus safe. This decision depends on what security the university needs, according to NYPD Chief Jeffrey Maddrey. They'll work with university leaders to decide the best security plan.

Chief Maddrey mentioned in a news conference on Wednesday that after checking the campus and talking with university staff, they'll send officers to make sure everyone stays safe until graduation.

Columbia University wants NYPD officers on campus until at least May 17, a couple of days after graduation, to prevent any issues, as stated in a letter from university President Minouche Shafik to the NYPD.

Protest Continue at University of Wisconsin-Madison: At Least 12 Arrested, One Tent Still Standing

Wednesday morning saw the arrest of at least 12 people at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as law enforcement intervened to dismantle tents and disperse the campus encampment.

Reportedly, some individuals resisted arrest, with uncertainty surrounding how many are associated with the university.

The university stated that the encampment violates both school policy and a state law enacted by the legislature to restrict certain campus activities.

A UW-Madison student, Lindsay Dubin, informed CNN's Wolf Blitzer that despite ongoing protests, only one tent remains at the Library Mall as of Wednesday morning. Dubin expressed her belief that the university is justified in dismantling the encampment.

"Even if you consider these laws unjust, (Martin Luther King Jr.) said civil disobedience requires that the individuals who break the laws willingly accept the consequences of doing so," Dubin said. "We're in college now, we're adults, and there are policies and laws in place to protect students and when you break those laws, you have to accept the consequences. So I believe the university is well within their rights to try to break up the encampment."

The university emphasized that there is no safety threat and that operations will continue as usual, with UWPD ensuring the safety and peacefulness of any ongoing protests.

Pro-Palestinian Protesters at UCLA Claim Encampment Was Assaulted While University 'Did Nothing'

Pro-Palestinian activists at UCLA are alleging that the university did 'nothing' to intervene during an attack on their encampment Tuesday night, as described by Vincent Doehr, a spokesperson for the pro-Palestinian group on campus.

Following a violent confrontation between pro-Palestinian demonstrators and Israel supporters, police responded to the UCLA campus. Doehr, also a PhD student at UCLA’s Department of Political Science, reported that the encampment was targeted with various weapons, including pepper spray, mace, boards, bricks, and "fireworks — not firecrackers, fireworks.”

In an interview with CNN, Doehr characterized Tuesday night's events as an attack "that the university did nothing to stop." He claimed that "the police the university had hired, the private security guards, stared and watched as this happened despite us warning the (University of California) repeatedly that this was likely to happen.”

The university asserted that medical teams and law enforcement were swiftly dispatched once the violence erupted.

According to the Daily Bruin, UCLA's student newspaper, Mary Osako, vice chancellor for UCLA strategic communications, denounced the violence, stating, “Horrific acts of violence occurred at the encampment tonight and we immediately called law enforcement for mutual aid support. The fire department and medical personnel are on the scene. We are sickened by this senseless violence and it must end.”

Doehr expressed uncertainty regarding the condition of injured students resulting from the clashes.

Columbia University President States Protests' "Drastic Escalation" Pushed School "to the Brink"

Columbia University President Minouche Shafik addressed the campus community in a letter issued Wednesday, following the clearance of protests by police, stating that the "drastic escalation" of protests over several months had brought the University "to the brink."

Shafik noted that the protests had created "a disruptive environment for everyone and raising safety risks to an intolerable level.”

With the backing of the University's Board of Trustees, Shafik explained that she had requested the New York City Police Department's intervention to halt the protests, particularly the occupation of Columbia's Hamilton Hall and the encampments.

During a Wednesday news conference, the NYPD reported around 300 protester arrests overnight at Columbia University and City College of New York.

“I know I speak for many members of our community in saying that this turn of events has filled me with deep sadness. I am sorry we reached this point,” Shafik wrote.

Shafik mentioned the administration's patience in tolerating unauthorized demonstrations, including the encampment, but stated that after eight days of negotiation with academic leaders, no resolution was reached.

She emphasized the need for healing and hoped that the coming weeks would "restore calm, allow students to complete their academic work, and honor their achievements at Commencement."

The university has requested the continued presence of the NYPD on campus until May 17 to ensure public safety.

UCLA Cancels Classes Following Campus Violence

Following a night marked by violence among groups of protesters, the University of California Los Angeles announced the cancellation of classes on Wednesday.

Furthermore, a statement on UCLA’s website noted that there is a “law enforcement presence stationed throughout campus to help promote safety.”

The university also assured that there would be staff available on campus to provide support for affected students.

16 Arrested by University of Georgia Police on Monday, Charged with Criminal Trespassing

According to a police report, the University of Georgia Police Department arrested 16 individuals during a pro-Palestine demonstration on Monday.

Among those detained, nine were students, while the remaining seven were identified as visitors. All 16 individuals faced charges of criminal trespassing, as outlined in the report.

The encampment established on the UGA campus was deemed to be in violation of multiple UGA Police policies, the report highlighted. Prior to the arrests, university officials had cautioned the protesters about policy violations and warned of potential arrests for non-compliance.

The University's chief of police granted the group a five-minute window to disperse, after which law enforcement proceeded with the arrests. Additionally, the report noted that the seven non-affiliated individuals have been barred from campus for a period of two years.

All officers present during the incident were reported to have activated their body-worn cameras for recording purposes.

Emory Police Detain Convicted Felon from Another State Found Armed with Knives on Campus, University Reports

Emory University announced on Sunday that the Emory Police Department (EPD) had arrested a convicted felon who had traveled from another state to the campus amidst ongoing protests.

The individual, identified as Derek Zika, 35, from Statesville, North Carolina, was apprehended on the Emory Quad on Sunday afternoon while in possession of knives and a pepper spray canister, according to the university. Furthermore, EPD secured a search warrant on Monday for Zika's vehicle, where they discovered an axe, a hatchet, and two knives within a bag containing survival equipment, as per the university's release.

Zika faced charges including criminal trespass, obstructing a law enforcement officer, possession of a weapon in a school safety zone, and crossing state lines with weapons, intoxicants, or drugs. He was taken to the Dekalb County Jail and later released on bail, according to jail records. Zika does not currently have legal representation listed.

This incident occurred as EPD issued six criminal trespass warnings to protesters suspected of recent campus vandalism, none of whom were affiliated with Emory. The university emphasized its commitment to community safety and outlined measures such as increased officer patrols to enhance campus security.

Previously, CNN reported that over 25 individuals were arrested during a protest on campus.

University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Declares Resolution of Illegal Activity

Following the authorization for police to dismantle a pro-Palestinian encampment on campus Wednesday, University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin announced the resolution of "illegal activity," with approximately 30 protesters cited.

Mnookin stated, “Now that the illegal activity has been resolved, students and others are free to resume peaceful protest that abides by campus protest guidelines today or at any time in the future."

She mentioned that the protesters were cited after disregarding a warning to remove their tents from Library Mall. “Every individual was given the opportunity to move away from the tent area and continue peaceful protest without further police engagement,” said Mnookin.

"A set of individuals, including some faculty and staff, obstructed law enforcement efforts to remove the tents and were cited," she further explained.

Additionally, Mnookin noted that several individuals who resisted police action or interfered with the operation were arrested.

The chancellor mentioned ongoing investigations into reports of harassment based on identity. “A small number of blatantly antisemitic actions on the grounds of the encampment have been credibly reported, but we have no evidence that any members of our UW–Madison community engaged in this odious activity,” she said.

Mnookin highlighted the presence of non-community members, including reportedly aggressive individuals, as one of the factors influencing the university's decision to take action.

Fordham Shuts Down One Entrance to Manhattan Campus Due to Small Pro-Palestinian Encampment

On Wednesday, Pro-Palestinian protesters established a small encampment at Fordham University's Lincoln Center campus in Manhattan's Upper West Side.

More than 50 demonstrators gathered at Fordham, protesting outside an encampment set up within the university's Lowenstein building. New York City Police officers erected barriers and surrounded the perimeter where demonstrators assembled on the sidewalk and campus.

Chanting "free free Palestine," the group, including at least one individual holding a sign reading "anti-Israel is not antisemitism," called for a ceasefire and demanded university divestment.

Fordham officials issued a safety alert to students, cautioning them about the ongoing demonstration at the Lincoln Center campus' Lowenstein Center. Additionally, they announced the closure of the Lowenstein Center entrance, requiring students, faculty, and staff to present their Fordham ID for campus entry.

Tents Re-Erected at University of Wisconsin-Madison After Being Taken Down by Police

Following the removal of protesters and multiple tents from an encampment on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus by law enforcement Wednesday morning, the tents have been reinstated as police departed the premises.

The university reported at least 12 arrests for resisting police efforts to remove the tents and obstructing operations, with approximately 30 protesters cited.

Video footage from CNN affiliate WMTV depicted Dane County Sheriff’s deputies and Wisconsin State Patrol troopers advancing with riot control shields into a chanting crowd. Demonstrators pushed back with linked arms, while some Madison Police Department officers dismantled tents on the ground and others used batons to push protesters away.

Previously, Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin labeled the encampment as "illegal activity" but expressed willingness to engage with protesters adhering to campus and state regulations. However, the tents have been reassembled.

The university reiterated that the encampment violates school policy and a state law enacted to restrict certain activities on campus.

Columbia University Modifies Final Exam Schedule for Main Campus

In response to current circumstances, Columbia University has decided to conduct final exams remotely for any exams scheduled on the main campus, as outlined in a letter addressed to students.

The Morningside Heights campus, where protests have been cleared by the New York Police Department, remains restricted to students residing in campus dormitories.

Final exams at the Medical Center and Manhattanville campus will proceed as planned.

Faculty members overseeing undergraduate programs are encouraged to explore various exam alternatives, including optional final exams, adjustments to grading policies, or the complete cancellation of final exams.

Additional scheduling adjustments include the commencement of the final exam period this Friday. Any undergraduate exams originally scheduled for Friday will automatically be rescheduled for the following Friday, May 10. Final papers or projects initially due this week will have their deadlines extended to dates after Monday, May 6.

Furthermore, Columbia University has extended the deadline for the submission of grades for graduating students from May 10 to May 13.

It's important to note that these scheduling modifications do not apply to certain graduate programs.

White House Cites Antisemitism Actions When Addressing Biden's Limited Response to Protests

When questioned about President Joe Biden's limited remarks on campus protests, the White House responded on Wednesday by highlighting his condemnation of antisemitism.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre emphasized, "No president has spoken more forcefully about combating antisemitism than this president." She further stated, "It is important that students and communities feel safe here and at the same time, we are going to be really forceful here and continue to underscore how antisemitism is hateful speech."

Jean-Pierre assured reporters that Biden remains informed about the ongoing developments and that his administration is closely monitoring the situation. She reiterated the White House's disapproval of forcible takeovers of campus buildings, affirming that such actions are not peaceful.

"What we're seeing is a small percentage of students. That's what we're seeing. They should not be able to disturb or disrupt the academic experience that students have," she said.

Additionally, it was announced that Biden would deliver the keynote address at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum's annual days of remembrance ceremony next Tuesday.

Jewish UCLA Student: "We Are Refusing Complicity" in Israel's Violence

Benjamin Kersten, a Jewish graduate student at UCLA and a pro-Palestinian protester, expressed pride in the campus students for their principled activism amid the ongoing conflict in Gaza.

"As students in the United States and at US institutions, we are refusing our complicity in this latest escalation of violence," he told CNN.

Kersten advocated for UCLA to divest its funds from "weapons manufacturing" and "companies that are complicit in Israeli genocide, occupation and apartheid."

"We need binding policies toward more just and democratic investment principles on the part of university," he said Wednesday.

Pro-Palestinian protests on college campuses nationwide have overwhelmingly demanded divestment from Israel in various forms.

Kersten expressed optimism regarding the impact of campus protests, stating, "Student pressure on universities to divest from conditions of apartheid has worked in the past and it will work again with sustained pressure."

He underscored the minimal risks students face compared to the challenges Palestinians endure in Gaza.

Children Displaced in Gaza and Medics Express Gratitude to Pro-Palestinian Demonstrators at US Universities

Children residing in displacement camps across northern and central Gaza conveyed their appreciation on Wednesday to pro-Palestinian students at American college campuses who have been protesting against the war.

Video footage captured at a camp in Deir al-Balah, central Gaza, depicts several children displaying banners featuring the names of American universities where pro-Palestinian demonstrations have taken place in recent days, expressing gratitude with messages like "thanks for your solidarity!"

Nadia Al-Dibs, a mother whose children participated in holding the banners, voiced her appreciation to the "brave students" for their solidarity.

Meanwhile, Aoun Khattab, a displaced individual in Deir al-Balah, urged "Arab and European universities to follow suit … to call and plead for an end to this war and for a permanent ceasefire."

At a separate gathering in front of Al Aqsa Martyrs hospital in Deir al-Balah, doctors, nurses, and medical staff extended their thanks to those protesting the war in Gaza.

They displayed signs conveying messages of gratitude such as "Thank you to the students who support our cause," "Thank you for your solidarity," "United against genocide," "The killing of children must stop," "Keep on fighting for justice," along with signs with the names of universities.

Dr. Saad Abu Sharban emphasized the significance of the global solidarity, stating, "When we saw our students and students around the world do these things, we were over the moon, because we believe that around the world there are human beings who know what is happening here in Gaza Strip right now."

Similar demonstrations of appreciation were observed in a displacement camp in Jabalya, northern Gaza, where children were seen carrying Palestinian flags and banners thanking universities for their support and urging continued pressure to halt the war.

In Arabic, they read: “Our colleagues at Columbia university, we thank you for standing with us to stop the crimes of Israel’s occupation” and “the Israeli occupation has destroyed our lives, stop the war so we can resume our education.”

Jewish Student at University of Wisconsin-Madison Claims Protest was Peaceful Until Police Intervention

A University of Wisconsin-Madison student present during Wednesday morning's police intervention described the campus protest as "peaceful" prior to law enforcement's arrival.

Mia Kurzer, who has been actively involved in de-escalating tensions during the protests, asserted her commitment to remaining until the group's demands, particularly regarding transparency and divestment, are addressed.

While protester demands may differ across universities, the majority have called for divestment from companies supporting Israel and the Gaza conflict.

Kurzer, who is Jewish, rejected the notion that the protest is antisemitic, framing it as a stance for peace over violence. She emphasized that the atmosphere was nonviolent until the arrival of law enforcement officers.

“This is a government-funded university, it’s a public space, we’re not doing anything, we’re not blocking the sidewalks, we’re no harassing anyone, we’re not doing anything wrong.” she said. “There’s no violence on our side, there’s no ill will on our side.”

Following the police intervention, the encampment has resurfaced, with Kurzer noting that most of the tents were re-erected after law enforcement cleared the area.

California Governor: "Limited and Delayed Campus Law Enforcement Response" at UCLA Was "Unacceptable"

In a statement shared on social media, California Governor Gavin Newsom denounced the violence that occurred at The University of California, Los Angeles, overnight.

“The law is clear: The right to free speech does not extend to inciting violence, vandalism, or lawlessness on campus,” Newsom said. “Those who engage in illegal behavior must be held accountable for their actions - including through criminal prosecution, suspension, or expulsion.”

Additionally, Newsom expressed dissatisfaction with the limited and delayed response from campus law enforcement at UCLA, deeming it unacceptable and warranting further investigation. He disclosed that the Governor's Office immediately deployed the California Highway Patrol to provide assistance once it became apparent that state intervention was necessary to supplement local efforts.

"The Governor's Office of Emergency Services has been coordinating law enforcement mutual aid requests statewide, including responding for assistance at UCLA throughout the night and early morning," his office said. "The state has established a robust Law Enforcement Mutual Aid System to provide law enforcement assistance to college campuses when requested during incidents beyond the capacity of local and campus police. We stand ready to provide additional mutual aid to local law enforcement and campuses when requested."

Iran University Offers Scholarships to Students Expelled from US and European Universities Amid Protests

Shiraz University in Iran has announced its intention to provide scholarships to students from universities in the United States and Europe who have faced expulsion during the ongoing student protests related to the Middle East crisis.

Mohammad Moreno, President of Shiraz University, stated, "Students and even professors who have been expelled or threatened with expulsion can continue their studies in Shiraz University and I think that other universities in Shiraz and Fars province are prepared to do the same too."

Shiraz, situated in Southern Iran, serves as a major city and the capital of Fars province.

Moreno made these remarks during a gathering of students and professors from various Shiraz universities, expressing solidarity with pro-Palestinian protesters in the US and Europe.

Discussions Continue Regarding Graduation and Police Presence on Columbia's Campus, Journalism Dean Reports

In a memo to students, the Dean of Columbia University's Journalism School, Jelani Cobb, stated that discussions are ongoing concerning graduation plans, the persistent NYPD presence on campus, and the university's subsequent actions following Tuesday night's events.

“I anticipate learning more about those things later today,” noted Cobb in the memo.

He commended the manner in which student journalists covered the events as New York Police Department officers conducted a raid on campus, affirming that at least some were compelled to leave by police.

"Last night’s events demanded the most from Columbia Journalism School. But we saw in real time how reporters’ dedication to the truth helps all of us understand what is at stake during a time of crisis,” Cobb remarked.

Approximately 70 students and faculty advisors established a newsroom at the school’s Brown Institute to provide coverage of the unfolding events.

“By 9:30 p.m., NYPD entered campus, Hamilton Hall, and raided the encampment. During this time, they restricted the movement of CJS students. Some of our reporters were forced off campus, while others were able to return to Brown and edit their work,” Cobb detailed in a breakdown of the evening's events.

Palestinian-American Professor Injured Amid Campus Protest

During a pro-Palestinian demonstration at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Palestinian-American professor Samer Alatout was reportedly injured in an altercation with campus police. Police intervened with riot gear, disrupting peaceful protests.

While Alatout's arrest status remains unconfirmed, 34 individuals were arrested, mostly released without citations. Alatout suggested racial motivation behind the forceful intervention, citing his visibility within the university administration.

He detailed being struck with shields and forcefully pulled to the ground by officers, resulting in injuries. CNN is seeking further information from university police.

"A Beautiful Thing To Watch”: Trump About Watching NYPD Clear Out Protesters At Columbia

Former President Donald Trump praised New York police officers for swiftly clearing a Columbia University building occupied by pro-Palestinian protesters, calling it "a beautiful thing to watch." Speaking at a rally in Waukesha, Wisconsin, Trump commended the officers' efficiency in resolving the situation within two hours, describing their actions as "incredible."

He expressed concern over the dangers posed by protesters breaking windows to gain access. Trump also criticized Columbia University President Minouche Shafik, accusing her of being "weak" and "afraid" in handling the situation. Shafik had addressed the campus community in a letter following the police clearance, acknowledging the "drastic escalation" of the protests and its impact on the university.

Protesters Rally After Tent Dismantlement: Demonstrations Continue at University of Wisconsin-Madison

After law enforcement dismantled tents earlier in the day, protesters at the University of Wisconsin-Madison gathered at the Library Mall, linking arms in a demonstration. The University of Wisconsin-Madison Police Department reported the arrest of at least 34 individuals, with most released without citations.

Despite the arrests, hundreds of people remained in the area around the Library Mall, where tents seemed to have been set up again following the departure of police. Some protesters held signs advocating for "Free Palestine" while others stood silently with closed eyes, observed by law enforcement personnel from outside the encampment.

House Passes Antisemitism Bill Amid Pro-Palestine Campus Protests

The House has approved a bill aiming to broaden the definition of antisemitism, coinciding with the surge of pro-Palestinian protests on college campuses amid the Israel's was on Gaza.

Advocates of the legislation argue it will aid in combating antisemitism at universities, while opponents express concerns that it may stifle free speech.

The vote tally was 320-91, with 70 Democrats and 21 Republicans dissenting.

Under the bill, the Department of Education would be required to use the definition of antisemitism proposed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) when enforcing federal anti-discrimination laws.

Critics contend that this definition is overly expansive and could potentially lead to censorship challenges.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement