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Mayor Adams defiantly tells NYC colleges to hold graduation ceremonies, don’t cave to provocateurs

Mayor Eric Adams defiantly advised New York City colleges Sunday that they need to transfer ahead with their graduation ceremonies and never cave to anti-Israel provocateurs trying to disrupt the proceedings.

“It’s a wonderful experience to graduate from an institution, and I don’t think we should allow anything to get in the way of our normal way of life,” Adams said on ABC’s “This Week.”

“We’ll do our job, and if the institutions decide to graduate their students and celebrate a beautiful experience with their families, we will make sure it’s done in a peaceful manner,” he stated.

Columbia University student in blue graduation gown standing on campus lawn amidst a pro-Palestine protest
A Columbia University pupil taking graduation photos amid the anti-Israel protests on campus on April 21, 2024. James Keivom

The mayor defended the police crackdown on campus protests at Columbia University and CUNY’s City College in Manhattan, two of a slew of anti-Israel disturbances throughout the nation.

Adams stated the Manhattan faculty protests escalated into legal exercise and violence when protesters — together with many “agitators” who weren’t college students — occupied a constructing and vandalized property.

“When those protests reach the point of violence, we have to ensure that we use a minimum amount of force to terminate what is perceived to be a threat,” Adams advised co-anchor Jonathan Karl.

Hizzoner stated the police raid and arrests occurred after days of communication between the NYPD and Columbia’s directors.

NY Post front cover from April 18, 2024: 'SEA' NO EVIL
Adams stated the crackdown on protests turned needed after they escalated to a “point of violence.” NY Post

He stated the knowledge gathered by the Police Department’s intelligence division about outsider “agitators” fomenting unrest at Columbia and different campuses was “concerning.

“We knew we had to get permission unless there’s imminent threat to life or severe threat to property,” he stated of the riot cops who moved in.  “We were not going to overstep our legal authority.”

Karl requested Adams about criticism from Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-Westchester/Bronx), who stated the campus raids and arrests of scholars by the the NYPD and different cops throughout nation goes towards “the role of education as the cornerstone of our democracy.”

“One has the right to have his or her opinion, and I respect that,” the mayor stated. “And I have an obligation and responsibility to ensure the city is safe.”

He went on to say that outdoors agitators are making “a real attempt to radicalize our young people.

Students in graduation gowns pose for photos, as anti-Israel demonstrators protest inside the Gaza Solidarity Encampment at Columbia University, as students activists continue to negotiate with the administration, on Sunday, April 28, 2024.
Mayor Adams told New York City colleges to hold graduation ceremonies despite the possibility of anti-Israel protesters looking to disrupt them. Michael Nagle
New York City Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Edward Caban and Mayor Eric Adams appear at a press conference
Adams defended the NYPD crackdown on protests at Columbia and City College last week. REUTERS
NYPD officers arresting a protester who refused to leave an encampment at City College on April 30, 2024.
NYPD officers arresting a protester who refused to leave an encampment at City College on April 30, 2024. James Keivom
NYPD officers preparing to enter Columbia's Hamilton Hall on April 30, 2024.
NYPD officers preparing to enter Columbia’s Hamilton Hall on April 30, 2024. Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

“We can’t take this lightly,” he stated.

The mayor confirmed a flier from one of many protests that learn, “Death to America.”

“This has left the point of advocating for a particular item,” he stated.

“When you’re on college grounds and you do not attend that college, you’re an outsider. And then when you train people to do destructive things, you are an agitator. So, I’m not trying to be politically correct. I’m trying to be correct for the City of New York as we make sure the city continues to be safe.”

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