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Columbia University Protesters Consent to Tent Removal Amid Gaza Invasion Controversy

Columbia University Protesters Consent to Tent Removal Amid Gaza Invasion Controversy

United States – Columbia University students consented to the removal of “a great number” of the tents that were set up on the school’s main campus as a form of protest against Israel’s Gaza invasion, according to the New York University, which issued a statement to this effect on Wednesday.

Protesters Agree to Dismantle Encampment

The surrender by demonstrators was part of an agreement that had Columbia start removing the 48-hour midnight grace period for complete encampment to be brought down, the statement said, stating that there had been “major progress” in the negotiation, as reported by Reuters.

A news reporter could not reach the protester, who had occupied the lawn behind the Upper Manhattan campus for some days.

The University announced on Tuesday that it would invite police as soon as midnight if the students were unable to disassemble the camp themselves. On Friday, the New York police arrested more than 100 protesters at the encampment, with the administration backing their decision.

“The encampment raises serious safety concerns, disrupts campus life, and has created a tense and at times hostile environment for many members of our community,” Columbia President Minouche Shafik said late on Tuesday before the agreement to extend the negotiating deadline. “It is essential that we move forward with a plan to dismantle it.”

It was clearly discernible that the protesters had promised to prolong the protest until the university authorities, by legal means, manifested their stand against ethical and financial support of the Gaza war and granted amnesty to the students involved in the plots.

Besides the announcement on the removal of 30 tents on the campus, the University also reported that student representatives had agreed that everyone else who is not affiliated with Columbia leaves the campus, that the activity is consistent with fire safety rules, and that protesters refrain from any discriminatory or abusive language.

There are hundreds of Gaza Colleges in the United States where the shouting has reached new peaks. Some Jewish and Israeli students have lodged complaints about an intimidating atmosphere manifested in antisemitic statements, and their safety has been impaired on campus.

Protesters declare the protests they attend peaceful, stating that a few irresponsible detractors are causing trouble.

Calls for Order and Respect on Campus

The House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Republican due to visit campus on Wednesday evening, would talk to and address Jewish students, be interviewed in the media, and speak to the media afterward. The visit builds on criticisms by the Republican lawmakers who emphasize that the president of Columbia implicitly tolerated hate speech and bullying at the institution.

Following the conservation rallies over Israel’s policies in Gaza, some weeks ago, the Jewish presidents of Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania resigned amid a shouting storm that targeted them.

A group of twenty-five Republicans in the U.S. Senate urged the Biden administration on Tuesday to “restore order” on campuses where Jewish students felt in danger.

“I also want to be clear that we will not tolerate intimidating, harassing, or discriminatory behavior,” added Shafik.

“The right to protest is essential and protected at Columbia, but harassment and discrimination are antithetical to our values and an affront to our commitment to be a community of mutual respect and kindness.”

NYPD Take

Visual Representation. Credit | Getty images

Shafik indicated the possibility of a gap in graduation ceremonies that are scheduled for the 15th of May for the same reason, as reported by Reuters.

The NYPD has said that it will need a clear invitation from the college administration to respond to minor violations such as trespassing or camping, or such trespasses happen on private property, but it will take immediate action in case of violent crimes.

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