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The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Columbia protests escalate

Columbia+University+is+one+of+many+schools+across+the+United+States+where+large+groups+of+students+have+been+protesting+at.
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Columbia University is one of many schools across the United States where large groups of students have been protesting at.

The Oct. 7 attacks launched Israel into war with Hamas. This horrific event caused a chain reaction in multiple universities across the United States, with students who joined together to protest their school’s support toward Israel. They went to extreme measures to make sure they were being heard.

This past April, pro-Palestinian students from Columbia University held protest encampments to demand that the University divest from Israel. The New York Police Department got called to break up the encampment. While some protesters did agree to leave, others refused to stop protesting until the school agreed to stop doing business with Israel or other companies that support them. These specific protests started and escalated two months ago and there are still protests happening to this day regarding this topic. The protests may not be as intense now, they still had a significant impact on fellow university students around the country.

After many people including students and faculty members refused to leave, the NYPD arrested over 100 protestors. In addition to these encampments, many protestors decided to take it one step further by breaking into one of the university buildings in the middle of the night. The protestors shattered windows and used chairs and desks to barricade the doors in an attempt to prevent the police from making arrests. Despite these attempts, the police were able to arrest a significant number of people and many were charged with burglary, criminal mischief and trespassing.

The students who broke into Hamilton Hall at Columbia University hung banners to show support for Palestine after receiving warnings from the university administrators that they could face expulsion. Many insisted that they would remain in the hall until the university agreed to their demands, including to divest from Israel and companies that were supporting the war.

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Many Jewish and Israeli students across the United States felt very targeted by these dangerous protests and didn’t feel safe attending their classes anymore. These students had a right to attend these schools and paid tuition to be there, yet are still being blocked off from being able to roam freely around their campus.

In addition to the encampment protests at Columbia, the university canceled an Israeli-Jewish professor’s ID, preventing him from being able to enter his building. The university thought this would be best for his safety because of the protests still occurring throughout the campus, but that wasn’t necessarily the case.

Even though all these events happened at Columbia University, many other groups of students from other universities around the United States decided to also protest and set up encampments on their campuses. These universities included Cornell, UC Berkeley, NYU and many others.

A group of student protestors at UCLA had created a human shield around a Jewish student, who they were able to identify as Jewish because he was wearing a Star of David necklace. The students prevented him from being able to enter the part of campus where he had classes to attend.

Local Police departments were able to make a dent in these violent protests and turn down the volume for them. Unfortunately, even though they made a pretty big impact, there are still protests being held in campuses today. The police departments and school should try to do more to enforce more safety and protection for these students instead of just preventing them from entering the campus.

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Maayan Keren
Maayan Keren, Staff Writer
Maayan Keren is a sophomore and this is her first year on The Pitch as a Staff Writer. Maayan enjoys watching movies and hanging out with her friends.
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