Columbia University Caves, Will Not Use Police To Clear Out Anti-Israel Encampment
Pro-Palestinian protesters participate in an "All out for Palestine" rally at Columbia University in New York on February 2, 2024. (Photo by Yuki IWAMURA / AFP) (Photo by YUKI IWAMURA/AFP via Getty Images)
YUKI IWAMURA/AFP via Getty Images

Administrators at Columbia University have backed away from their threats to anti-Israel protesters, telling the student activists that have occupied its campus that the school will not use the New York Police Department to clear them out.

Columbia’s decision to allow the protesters to continue camping in the university’s quad comes after the administration gave multiple deadlines, each of which came and went without the university taking any action.

The students were originally given a deadline of Tuesday night at midnight to come to an agreement with the administration, but the deadline was pushed back to 8:00 AM on Wednesday morning. The deadline was extended yet again to Friday, with the university now backing down completely.

​​”We have our demands; they have theirs,” Columbia said late on Thursday night, before saying that negotiations are ongoing. “The talks have shown progress and are continuing as planned,” the university went on to say before adding that “a formal process is underway and continues.”

“For several days, a small group of faculty, administrators, and university senators have been in dialogue with student organizers to discuss the basis for dismantling the encampment, dispersing, and following university policies going forward,” the update from the university explained.

Anti-Israel demonstrators gathered in front of the university on Tuesday night in anticipation of the original Wednesday morning deadline. The protesters, which consisted of both Columbia students and some from outside the university community, chanted “one solution: revolution” and “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

Columbia University students joined in on other chants, such as “no peace on stolen land” and “resistance is justified when people are occupied.” Others called to “globalize the intifada” and displayed Hamas symbols.

Columbia announced earlier this week that it would move to hybrid instruction for the remainder of the spring semester, which concludes on April 29th.

Protests have since spread to other campuses across the United States and within Manhattan, most notably at New York University. The anti-Israel protests reached a boiling point when 228 demonstrators were arrested at Columbia and NYU on Monday.

Law enforcement swiftly broke up a demonstration on the University of Texas campus in Austin. Other universities like the University of Southern California (USC) have acquiesced to the protesters’ demands. The California school recently announced that it will be canceling its commencement ceremony because of the protests, and “will not be able to host the main stage ceremony that traditionally brings 65,000 students, families, and friends to our campus.” It is yet to be decided if Columbia University, which has already resorted to using hybrid instruction for class because of the protests, will be able to hold its own commencement ceremony next month, or if the administration will continue to cave in to the encampment’s demands.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Columbia University Caves, Will Not Use Police To Clear Out Anti-Israel Encampment