Video Shows Police Clearing Pro-Palestinian Tent City At Columbia University


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New York Police Department (NYPD) officers cleared out a swath of Pro-Palestinian protestors camping in tents on Columbia University’s campus Thursday, NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Operations Kaz Daughtry said on Twitter.

Cops clad in riot gear descended on the school’s Morning Heights campus to break up the protests at the behest of Columbia’s president, Minouche Shafik.

At the request of Columbia officials, we are on scene to disperse protestors who have erected an unlawful encampment on campus,” Daughtry wrote. “School officials had previously determined that the encampment and related disruptions pose a clear and present danger to the substantial functioning of the University.”

The protests had been taking place since Wednesday, and Shafik made the decision to call the NYPD despite hoping the decision would “never be necessary,” she wrote in a Thursday statement. (RELATED: Student Sues Ivy League School Claiming He Sprayed Pro-Palestinian Protesters With ‘Liquid *ss,’ Not Chemical Weapon)

“I took this extraordinary step because these are extraordinary circumstances,” Shafik said in a statement. “The individuals who established the encampment violated a long list of rules and policies.”

The university made multiple attempts to get the protestors to leave. “Through direct conversations and in writing, the university provided multiple notices of these violations, including a written warning at 7:15 p.m. on Wednesday notifying students who remained in the encampment as of 9:00 p.m. that they would face suspension pending investigation. We also tried through a number of channels to engage with their concerns and offered to continue discussions if they agreed to disperse,” Shafik wrote.

“I regret that all of these attempts to resolve the situation were rejected by the students involved. As a result, NYPD officers are now on campus and the process of clearing the encampment is underway,” Shafik said in her statement.

Police in riot gear zip-tied and detained multiple protesters, video the New York Post uploaded on Twitter shows.

Protestors shouted “let them go” and “shame!” at the cops as they detained protestors, according to the New York Post.

Police arrested dozens of protestors and removed about 50 tents from the space in front of the school’s Butler Library, according to The New York Times (NYT).

Third party presidential candidate Cornel West showed up to lend support to the protestors.

“I stand here in solidarity with each and every one of you,” West shouted through a bullhorn, video @cybersebb posted to Twitter shows.

“Because we are in solidarity with human suffering, especially when it is imposed by human beings, and I’m talking about the indescribable genocidal oppression of Palestinians in Gaza,” West concluded.

This story has been updated to include new information about the arrests of students and Cornel West’s appearance.