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Columbia prez Minouche Shafik says pro-terror protesters ousted from Hamilton Hall during NYPD raid ‘crossed a new line’

Columbia University president Minouche Shafik mentioned the pro-terror mob that illegally occupied historic Hamilton Hall — and have been ousted after NYPD cops stormed the constructing — “crossed a new line.”

Shafik mentioned the chaotic occasions of the previous two weeks — which noticed an anti-Israel encampment overtake the Ivy League faculty’s stately Morningside Heights campus —  as “among the most difficult in Columbia’s history,” following the dramatic removing of the occupiers and the tent metropolis.

“The turmoil and tension, division and disruption have impacted the entire community,” she mentioned in a video deal with posted on Friday night. “You are students who paid an exceptionally high price.

Columbia president Minouche Shafik made her first public remarks since the NYPD raided encampments at the Ivy League school.
Columbia president Minouche Shafik made her first public remarks since the NYPD raided encampments at the Ivy League school. Columbia University

“You lost your final days in the classroom and residence halls. For those of you who are seniors, you’re finishing the way you started: online,” she informed Columbia college students.

The president mentioned that the college administration tried “very hard to solve the issue of encampment through dialogue,” however the protesters, whom she famous have been largely peaceable, declined the college’s supply.

The college students had demanded that Columbia divest its funds from corporations related to Israel in response to Israel’s ongoing conflict in Gaza.

New York City police officers use a ramp on an armored vehicle to enter Hamilton Hall at Columbia University.
New York City cops use a ramp on an armored automobile to enter Hamilton Hall at Columbia University. STEPHANI SPINDEL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

“Academic leaders talked with students for eight days and nights,” she mentioned. “The university made a sincere and good offer but it was not accepted.”

The protesters “crossed a new line” once they broke into and occupied the college’s iconic Hamilton Hall, Shafik mentioned. 

“It was a violent act that put our students at risk as well as putting the protesters at risk,” she mentioned, including that she had a firsthand take a look at the “distressing” damages to the constructing.

Shafik touched a constructive word, nevertheless, saying she believes that civil discourse can return and so they can “rebuild community” on campus with ample work and understanding from either side.

Antisemitism controversy at Columbia University: Key occasions

  • More than 280 anti-Israel demonstrators have been cuffed at Columbia and the City of New York campuses in a single day in a “massive” NYPD operation.
  • One hundred and 9 individuals have been nabbed on the Ivy League campus after cops responded to Columbia’s request to assist oust a damaging mob that had illegally taken over the Hamilton Hall educational constructing late Tuesday, NYC Mayor Eric Adams and police mentioned.
  • Hizzoner blamed the on-campus chaos on insurgents who’ve a “history of escalating situations and trying to create chaos” as a substitute of protesting peacefully.
  • Columbia’s embattled president Minouche Shafik, who has confronted mounting calls to resign for not cracking down sooner, issued a assertion Wednesday saying the on-campus violence had “pushed the university to the brink.”
  • Columbia University president Minouche Shafik was accused of “gross negligence” whereas testifying earlier than Congress. Shafik refused to say if the phrase “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” is antisemitic.
  • More than 100 Columbia professors signed a letter defending college students who assist the “military action” by Hamas.
  • Not affiliated with faculty: 13
  • Students at affiliated establishments: 6
  • Undergrad college students: 14
  • Grad college students: 9
  • Columbia staff: 2

“The issues that are challenging us  — the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, anti-Semitism, and anti-Arab and anti-Muslim bias  — have existed for a long time,” she mentioned.

“And Columbia, despite being a remarkable institution, cannot solve them singlehandedly. What we can do is be an exemplar of a better world, where people who disagree do so civilly, recognize each other’s humanity and show empathy and compassion for one another,” Shafik concluded.

Her deal with got here the day after a Columbia school affiliation referred to as for a vote of no confidence for Shafik and different prime directors following the Tuesday raid on Hamilton Hall — whereas angered college students took the standard “primal scream” to the embattled prez’s doorstep.

The faculty’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors referred to as for the damning vote on Shafik, the co-chairs of Board of Trustees and Chief Operating Officer Cas Holloway in a scathing statement released Thursday.

NYPD officers in riot gear enter Columbia University's encampment as they evict a building that had been barricaded.
NYPD officers in riot gear enter Columbia University’s encampment as they evict a constructing that had been barricaded by anti-Israel protesters. AFP by way of Getty Images

The school group condemned the NYPD’s arrival at Hamilton Hall on Tuesday as a “horrific police attack” and slammed the continuing “militarized lockdown” of the Morningside Heights campus.

The affiliation attributed Tuesday’s chaos to “shocking failures of decision-making and judgment” over the controversy created by the Oct. 7 Hamas assault and subsequent conflict within the Gaza Strip.

The Shafik administration had now violated pupil and school belief to such a diploma that a vote of no confidence can be the “only way” to rebuild the college, the letter insisted.

Shortly earlier than midnight on Thursday, a giant group of Columbia college students gathered outdoors Shafik’s official residence for the “primal scream.”

The biannual campus custom – during which college students all yell loudly collectively to specific their end-of-semester stresses – usually takes place in entrance of Butler Library, which continues to be inaccessible to college students whereas the campus stays closed off, the Columbia Daily Spectator reported.

After screaming for about a minute and a half, the group of about 100 college students issued calls of “resign” and “disclose, divest, we will not stop, we will not rest,” the campus paper reported.

Over two dozen NYPD officers watched over the demonstration, which earned extra taunt of “Oink oink piggy piggy, we will make your lives s–tty,” the Spectator added.

After the NYPD swept Hamilton Hall, finals for Columbia college students have been postponed and moved on-line.

About 200 protesters have been arrested on the campus since mid-April, when the tent encampment demonstration first emerged on one of many major lawns.

In a letter on Tuesday, Shafik requested NYPD presence on the campus via no less than May 17, the Spectator reported.

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