Anti-Israel rioters at Columbia smash windows, take over dean’s building as deadline passes

Countrywide campus crackdowns were met with an escalation at one university as terrorist sympathizing protesters took over the dean’s building.

As students worried over the impact on their final exams and commencement ceremonies, days of demonstrations and occupation were met in many instances with ultimatums. For some anti-Israel activists at Columbia University facing suspension if they failed to disperse, the choice was made to barricade themselves inside Hamilton Hall and “rename” it as they unfurled a banner declaring “INTIFADA.”

The New York City school had set a 2 p.m. dispersement deadline for Monday and, hours later, masked individuals could be seen entering through windows and shattering glass on doors in addition to forcing aside those standing in peaceful opposition to their actions as they made entry to the building where the dean’s office was located.

Images from the takeover of Hamilton Hall, dubbed “Hinds Hall” by the group calling themselves CU Apartheid Divest, “in honor of Hind Rajab, a martyr murdered at the hands of the genocidal Israeli state at the age of six years old,” according to their social media, showed at least one person using a hammer to bust their way inside as others used whatever they could get a hold of to barricade doors.

(Photo by Alex Kent/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Kent/Getty Images)

Ben Chang, a spokesperson for the university, confirmed to the Associated Press that suspensions had begun while providing limited details. Meanwhile, a class-action lawsuit had been filed on behalf of the Jewish students there alleging that there had been a breach of contract over failure to maintain a safe learning environment in violation of school policies.

The suit also challenged the virtual learning response and sought security for on-campus instruction to continue without threat from the agitators, many of whom were being recognized as unaffiliated with schools across the nation.

Overnight, Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) issued a statement regarding the anti-Israel protests and said, “Across the Commonwealth, we’ve seen students and significant non-student participants, throw projectiles at law enforcement, violate the policies of our colleges and universities, obstruct and disrupt student life and endanger public safety.”

“After repeated warnings and refusal to disperse, law enforcement must protect Virginians. My administration will continue to fully support campus, local and state law enforcement and university leadership to keep our campuses safe,” he added.

At the University of Utah, an unlawful assembly had been declared as arrests began. A statement from the school detailed, “Students, faculty, staff and community members, you have the right to express your viewpoint and we have heard you. You do not, however, have the right to set up structures or camp overnight.”

Likewise, University of Florida spokesman Steve Orlando said, “This is not complicated: The University of Florida is not a daycare, and we do not treat protesters like children — they knew the rules, they broke the rules, and they’ll face the consequences.”

“For many days, we have patiently told protesters — many of whom are outside agitators — that they were able to exercise their right to free speech and assembly,” he continued. “And we also told them that clearly prohibited activities would result in a trespassing order from UPD (barring them from all university properties for three years) and an interim suspension from the university. For days UPD patiently and consistently reiterated the rules. Today, individuals who refused to comply were arrested after UPD gave multiple warnings and multiple opportunities to comply.”

The escalating threat on campus was readily apparent at the University of Texas at Austin where a statement from the school that had been quicker to offer a no-nonsense response to protesters detailed, “Baseball size rocks were found strategically placed within the encampment. The majority of protesters are believed to be unaffiliated with the university.”

(Photo by SUZANNE CORDEIRO / AFP) (Photo by SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by SUZANNE CORDEIRO / AFP) (Photo by SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP via Getty Images)
Kevin Haggerty

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