Sunday, May 19, 2024
Sunday May 19, 2024
Sunday May 19, 2024

Tensions escalate at Columbia University as protesters occupy Hamilton Hall



Over 100 anti-Israel protesters took control of an academic building, threatening to disrupt the upcoming commencement ceremony.

In a dramatic turn of events, more than 100 protesters stormed Hamilton Hall at Columbia University’s Manhattan campus, signalling a sharp escalation in the ongoing anti-Israel protests. The incident occurred around 12:30 AM on Tuesday, leading to significant concern among students and faculty over the future of scheduled university activities, including the commencement ceremony.

The protesters, who forcefully entered the building, caused property damage by shattering windows and barricading doors. Their actions and chants hinted at further disruptions, specifically targeting the university’s graduation ceremony set for May 15. The group’s chant, “No divestment, no commencement,” made clear their intention to leverage the upcoming event to press for their demands.

This event at Columbia mirrors a broader trend observed at other universities, such as the University of Southern California, which recently cancelled its main commencement ceremony due to similar safety concerns fueled by anti-Israel sentiments.

During the takeover, protesters displayed banners with messages like “Gaza Calls, Columbia Falls” and “Student Intifada,” indicating a deep-rooted commitment to their cause. They have renamed Hamilton Hall to “Hind’s Hall,” in tribute to a Palestinian child reportedly killed by the Israeli military, symbolizing their protest against Columbia University’s financial ties to Israel and their call for divestment.

The demonstrators have declared their intention to occupy the building until their demands—which include divestment from Israel, financial transparency, and amnesty for participants—are fully met. This sit-in at Hamilton Hall represents a significant escalation in their campaign, complicating the university’s efforts to maintain normal operations and campus safety.

As the protest continued into the early hours, the chants grew louder and more determined. Protesters reinforced their position by locking arms in front of the building, making clear their resolve to maintain their presence.

In response to the growing unrest, Columbia University has taken stringent security measures, restricting access to the campus and locking down additional buildings to ensure the safety of its community.

The situation remains fluid, and the university administration is faced with the challenge of balancing security concerns with the need to address the grievances voiced by the protesters


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