American college protests surge, resulting in arrests and disorder

by ian

American higher education is currently under the heel of anti-war protests.

Pro-Palestinian students on at least a dozen college campuses nationwide have been camping out, calling for their universities to stop investing in companies that benefit Israel and to protest the war in general. The demonstrations have resulted in some “disruptive” behavior, and some arrests have been reported.

At New York University, police arrested about 50 protesters. Students defied warnings from the university to vacate, resulting in a police crackdown on the encampment. Students resisted arrest, becoming what some witnesses described as a “disorderly” demonstration.

Yale and Harvard experienced their own restlessness, with over 100 arrests following crackdowns on similar encampments. But it is Columbia University that has become the poster child for these demonstrations.

Citing concerns for Jewish students, Columbia University recently took most of its classes to an online format for the remainder of the spring semester. But Jewish professors aren’t safe, either.

One video showed assistant business professor Shai Davidai, who was born in Israel, confronting Columbia personnel because his card was deactivated. Davidai says this is because he has taken a pro-Israel stance, and the university is protecting the students who support Hamas.

The situation at Columbia has grown so dire that Republicans in the House and Senate are calling for the university president to resign. Some Democrats, like Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New York, have called upon the institution to protect its Jewish students during this uneasy time.

Other Democrats, however, are throwing support behind the protesters. The most notable instance comes from Squad member Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who told a crowd in Virginia that these “peaceful” protests are to be remembered. President Joe Biden reacted to this by saying that everyone should listen to AOC.

These comments were quickly called out by Republicans as being misleading, given the “disorderly” accounts we previously cited.