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Columbia University postpones dismantling of pro-Palestinian student tents

Photo: Stefan Jeremiah Associated Press At Columbia University and across the country, students set up tents on their campuses to denounce United States military support for Israel and the humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip.

France Media Agency in New York

Posted at 9:58 a.m.

  • United States

Columbia University in New York postponed a Friday deadline for pro-Palestinian students to evacuate the campus, which was occupied to protest the war in Gaza, a movement that has become widespread on American campuses.

The office of the president of the American university, from which the movement in support of Gaza started more than a week ago, returned to the midnight deadline set to dismantle a tent city where some 200 pro-Palestinian students gathered.

“Negotiations have progressed and are continuing as planned,” the president’s office said of the university, Minouche Shafik, in a press release released at 11:07 p.m. Thursday.

“We have our demands, they have theirs,” continues the presidential office, denying that police intervention was requested.

“They call us terrorists, they call us violent. But the only tool we have is our voices,” said one of the students at the pro-Palestinian rally, introducing herself under the name Mimi.

Also read

  • The movement in support of Gaza becomes widespread on American campuses
  • More than 130 arrests in New York after student protests for Gaza
  • Tense face-to-face between pro-Palestinians and police at a Texas university

The pro-Palestinian American student movement, which has become widespread on American campuses, started from Columbia University in New York.

Dozens of arrests there were carried out last week, after university officials used the police to put an end to an occupation accused by several figures of fueling anti-Semitism.

The pro-Palestinian demonstrations then continued on Wednesday on campus.

Some of the most prestigious universities in the world are affected by this movement of American students, such as Harvard , Yale or even Princeton.

Hundreds of arrests

More than 200 Protesters were arrested Wednesday and Thursday at universities in Los Angeles, Boston and Austin, Texas, where some 2,000 people gathered again on Thursday.

Scenes across the country follow one another and are similar: students set up tents on their campuses to denounce US military support for Israel and the humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip.

Then they are dislodged, often in a muscular manner, by police officers in riot gear, at the request of university management.

On the campus of Emory University in Atlanta, in the southeast of the United States, demonstrators were evacuated manu militari by the police, some thrown to the ground to be arrested, according to images from a photojournalist from the AFP.

Atlanta police admitted using “chemical irritants” on demonstrators, in the face of “violence” from some.

Early Thursday, a new encampment was set up on the campus of George Washington University in the capital.

On that of UCLA University in Los Angeles, more than 200 students set up a mini-village of around thirty tents, barricaded by pallets and signs.

Kaia Shah, a 23-year-old political science student years, is enthusiastic about the expansion of the movement. “It’s great what we see on other campuses,” she said, “it shows how many people support this cause. »

For Kit Belgium, a professor at the University of Austin, the campus needs to see “free expression and the free exchange of ideas. And if the university cannot tolerate this, then it is not worthy of the name,” she adds to AFP.


Near the pro-Palestinian rally, around thirty students organized a counter-demonstration. Jasmine Rad, a Jewish student at the University of Texas, believes that demonstrations in support of Gaza are “dangerous for Jewish students.”

Same echo of George Washington University. “I have never been more afraid of being Jewish in America than I am now. Some students are there with messages of hate, messages that call for violence,” says Skyler Sieradsky, 21, a philosophy and political science student.

The demonstrators , including a certain number of Jewish students, refute any anti-Semitism and criticize officials who equate it with opposition to Israel.

“The people who are here come from diverse backgrounds to support the Palestinian people,” driven by “their sense of justice,” says a University of Austin graduate, who identifies as Jewish and goes by the first name Josh at AFP.

Cancellation of a convocation

L he University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where 93 people were arrested Wednesday, announced Thursday the cancellation of its main graduation ceremony this year, officially due to “new security measures.”

Jason Miller, an advisor to Donald Trump, seized on the announcement, saying on X, that “under Joe Biden, your graduation ceremony will not be guaranteed” to take place.

The White House assures for its part that President Biden, who hopes to be re-elected in November, “supports freedom of expression, debate and non-discrimination » in universities.

The war was triggered on October 7 by an unprecedented attack carried out from Gaza against Israel by Hamas commandos, which resulted in the death of 1,170 people, mainly civilians, according to an AFP report established using data

In retaliation, Israel promised to destroy the Islamist movement, and its vast military operation in the Gaza Strip has so far left 34,305 dead, mostly civilians, according to Hamas.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116