‘First We Take Columbia’: Anti-Israel activist guidebook lays out occupation of U.S. campuses

The pro-Palestinian “protesters” at Columbia and Yale have reportedly been circulating a guidebook encouraging more bad behavior.

Titled “First We Take Columbia: Lessons from the April 1968 Occupations Movement,” the guidebook was published Saturday by Ill Will, a far-left magazine.

The guidebook references what happened in April of 1968 when hundreds of Columbia University students commandeered campus to express their opposition to the Vietnam War.

The guidebook begins with a revolutionary poem from American poet Diane Di Prima.

“When you seize a town, a campus, get hold of the power stations, the water, the transportation, forget to negotiate, forget how to negotiate, don’t wait for De Gaulle or Kirk to abdicate, they won’t, you are not ‘demonstrating’ you are fighting a war, fight to win, don’t wait for Johnson or Humphrey or Rockefeller, to agree to your terms take what you need, ‘it’s free because it’s yours,’” the poem reads.

The guidebook continues by offering 14 “lessons … that might be useful today, now that university occupations have re-emerged as a tactic within the movement to halt the genocide in Gaza.”

The first lesson is that “[o]ccupations are effective because they are disruptive.”

“The April 1968 occupations shut down the entire university for over a week. This forced the administration to concede to their demands, even after the movement faced repression,” the guidebook explains.

“An occupation needs to spread in order to survive,” the second lesson reads. “New buildings need to be taken on campus, throughout the city, and across the country. Take the enemy by surprise. Strive for daily or even hourly successes, however small. At all costs, retain superior morale.”

“Every occupation is a commune,” the third lesson continues. “By shutting down the normal flows of capitalist society, they open up space for something new to emerge. These become a place to experiment with how we might live differently. Share everything. Inside the occupation, there is no private property. Break down barriers. Inside, social status and jobs are meaningless.”

Additional lessons in the guidebook urge the “protesters” to take advantage of and exploit any neighboring riots as was done in 1968.

“The April 1968 occupations took place in the immediate aftermath of the ‘Holy Week’ of riots in the surrounding neighborhood and cities across the country after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” the guidebook notes.

“Campus administrators, city officials, and the police department worried that any attempt to suppress the occupations might lead to unrest in the surrounding neighborhood; Harlem might invade Columbia. An occupation today will be in a stronger position if it is similarly able to build and mobilize support from the surrounding neighborhood,” the guidebook continues.

The guidebook also urges “protesters” to welcome in “outside agitators.”

“In April 1968, five hundred people marched on the gate at 116th St and Broadway,” the guidebook reads. “The NYPD stood down out of fear that violence might otherwise erupt. Similar tactics might be necessary today.”

The guidebook was published a day before Columbia University’s orthodox rabbi told all Jewish students to consider staying away from campus until it was safe.

The rabbi told the Jewish students this in a WhatsApp message reportedly sent last Sunday morning.

“What we are witnessing in and around campus is terrible and tragic,” he wrote. “The events of the last few days, especially last night, have made it clear that Columbia University’s Public Safety and the NYPD cannot guarantee Jewish students’ safety in the face of extreme antisemitism and anarchy.”

“It deeply pains me to say that I would strongly recommend you return home as soon as possible and remain home until the reality in and around campus has dramatically improved. It is not our job as Jews to ensure our own safety on campus. No one should have to endure this level of hatred, let alone at school,” he added.

All this comes among growing, nationwide college campus “protests” concerning the Israel-Hamas war. The “protesters” genuinely believe that the Palestinians in Gaza are being ethnically cleansed and that their “protests” might somehow put a premature end to the war.

Vivek Saxena


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