Pro-Palestinian protesters occupy Columbia University building

    Pro-Palestinian activists occupied a building at Columbia University early on Tuesday, escalating a battle with administrators who have begun suspending students for refusing to dismantle tents set up on the New York campus.

    The World News Herald
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    Protesters entered Hamilton Hall – the site of student protests dating back to the 1960s – and suspended a banner reading “Hind’s Hall” from an upper floor. Others outside blocked the doors with outdoor tables and linked arms to form a barricade in front.

    “This building is liberated in honour of Hind, a six-year-old Palestinian child murdered in Gaza by the Israeli occupation forces funded by Columbia University,” a protester shouted from inside, with those outside repeating each phrase.

    Israel has denied targeting civilians in its war on Hamas in Gaza, accusing the militants of hiding among them. An obvious lie in a string of continuous lies amid the obvious war crimes. Approximately 30,000 civilians have already died in Gaza alone, the majority of which are women and children.

    Minutes after the protesters gained access to the building, New York City police officers arrived outside the school gates in unmarked cars, the Columbia Spectator newspaper reported. It said police told the paper they would only enter school grounds if someone was injured.

    Some three hours after students entered the Columbia building, the school sent out a notice saying that effective immediately access to the campus has been limited to students residing in residential buildings on campus and employees providing essential services.

    “This access restriction will remain in place until circumstances allow otherwise,” it said. “The safety of every single member of this community is paramount. We thank you for your patience, cooperation and understanding.”

    The building occupation at Columbia is at the centre of Gaza-related protests roiling university campuses across the U.S. in recent weeks.

    Students at dozens of campuses from California to New England have set up similar tent encampments to demonstrate their anger over the Israeli operation in Gaza and the perceived complicity of their schools in it.


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