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  /  News   /  Pro-Palestinian protests back at Columbia

Pro-Palestinian protests back at Columbia

(NewsNation) — Protesters set up tarps and tents Friday evening at Columbia University in a protest called “Revolt for Rafah, Installation 1.” It coincides with the school’s alum weekend.

“While You’re Earning Rafah’s Burning” and “@alumni No Donations ‘til Divestment” read two of the banners on display.

Reports on the number of people involved vary widely. Columbia’s student newspaper, the Columbia Spectator, says about two dozen protesters are occupying the campus’ South Lawn.

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The New Republic, posting on X, says the crowd consists of about 100 students and alums. It also quotes participants as saying that “their protest is a direct response to the Rafah massacre and a recent Washington Post article exposing a group of wealthy elites who used their power to influence New York City Mayor Eric Adams into using the police to quash student protests at Columbia University in April.”

The Post story from May 16 recounts an April 26 Zoom call between several business executives and Adams.

“During the call, some attendees discussed making political donations to Adams, as well as how the chat group’s members could pressure Columbia’s president and trustees to permit the mayor to send police to the campus to handle protesters, according to chat messages summarizing the conversation,” the Post wrote.

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Earlier this month, The New Republic reported that more than 1,600 Columbia alumni have pledged to withhold about $67 million in donations unless the university drops disciplinary charges against students who took part in the April protests.

Also Friday, police in riot gear surrounded arm-in-arm protesters at the University of California, Santa Cruz, to remove an encampment and barricades where pro-Palestinian demonstrations have blocked the main entrance to the campus this week. Dozens were arrested, the university said.