Columbia Faculty Orchestrate Walkout On Behalf Of Pro-Palestinian Protesters


Robert McGreevy Contributor
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Faculty members at Columbia University organized a walk-out Monday in solidarity with pro-Palestinian protesters on the school’s campus.

Students and faculty alike gathered on the school’s campus en masse, holding signs and wearing sashes that showed their support for the students, video shared by multiple outlets showed.

The professors were specifically incensed by school President Minouche Shafik’s decision to call the NYPD and have them arrest protestors Thursday.

“While we as a faculty disagree about the relevant political issues and express no opinion on the merits of the protest, we are writing to urge respect for basic rule-of-law values that ought to govern our University,” the faculty members wrote in a jointly signed letter to Shafik obtained by The Intercept.

“Thus far, the justifications for the suspensions and arrests that the University has provided are that the student encampment violated unspecified ‘new policies,’ ‘severely disrupt[ed] campus life,’ and ‘create[d] a harassing and intimidating environment for many of our students.'” Beyond those assertions, the University has offered very little public information about the rules invoked, processes used, and facts found to support the blanket suspension of over one hundred students,” the letter continued.

“That lack of transparency is itself concerning. Furthermore, publicly available accounts, including those provided by the NYPD, indicate that the protest encampment was peaceful and did not pose an imminent threat to public safety.” (RELATED: ‘No Longer An Institution I Recognize’: Robert Kraft Disavows Alma Mater Over Pro-Palestine Protests)

While the NYPD did arrest 108 people at the protests Thursday, they did so at the request of Shafik and the University. NYPD Chief John Chell told the Columbia Spectator “The students that were arrested were peaceful, offered no resistance whatsoever, and were saying what they wanted to say in a peaceful manner.”

New York mayor Eric Adams did note that some of the arrestees made vile and inflammatory comments to officers while being arrested, but none resisted arrest, according to the Spectator.

The walkout and letter to Shafik follow a separate letter from other members of faculty at Columbia and sister school Barnard condemning the University’s decision to suspend protestors on Friday.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the Administration’s suspension of students engaged in peaceful protest and their arrest by the New York City Police Department,” the letter, which Columbia architecture professor Laura Kagan shared to Twitter, read.