Columbia Anti-Israel Protesters Seize Building, Worker Reportedly Says They Held Him ‘Hostage’


Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Font Size:

Protesters took over a building at Columbia University early Tuesday morning as anti-Israel actions at the school continue to escalate, with one worker claiming to be held hostage, according to multiple reports and footage of the event.

The occupation followed a notice by the Ivy League school promising suspensions to students who defied a 2 p.m. Monday deadline to leave an encampment. At least one protester smashed the building’s windows and barricaded themselves inside Hamilton Hall, according to the Columbia Spectator.

Protestors entered the building at roughly 12:30 a.m. One facilities workers reportedly said “they held me hostage” after leaving the building shortly after protesters entered, according to the Columbia Spectator.

“We will honor all the martyrs, all the parents, mothers, fathers,” protesters chanted. “We will honor all the martyrs, all the children, sons, and daughters.”

The protesters said they will occupy Hamilton Hall until “Columbia meets every one of our demands,” according to the Columbia Spectator.

Footage showed the protesters unfurling a Palestinian flag out of the building’s window. Some chanted “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” and “Palestine will live forever.”

. (RELATED: Jewish Columbia Student Files Lawsuit Accusing School Of Failing To Protect Jewish Students)

The protesters demanded that Columbia provide an amnesty to participants in the demonstrations and end its financial relationships with companies tied to Israel and to be transparent about other investments by the Ivy League school.

The protests have been going on for over a month.

Multiple demonstrations at Ivy League schools since a deadly terrorist attack by Hamas against Israel have seen protesters make statements like “resistance is justified,” including an Oct. 15 protest where attendees chanted a slogan that has connotations of wiping out Israel after a Cornell University professor called the attacks “exhilarating.”

Columbia University cancelled in-person classes April 22.

The university reportedly suspended media access to campus Tuesday, arguing the decision was done for safety reasons.

“Early this morning, a group of protestors occupied Hamilton Hall on the Morningside campus of Columbia University,” a spokesperson for Columbia emailed the Daily Caller News Foundation.  “The safety of every single member of this community is paramount.”

“The first step we have taken is to alert our campus community — in light of the protest activity, we have asked members of the University community who can avoid coming to the Morningside campus to do so; essential personnel should report to work according to university policy,” the statement continued. “Access to campus has been limited to students residing in residential buildings on campus and employees who provide essential services to campus buildings, labs, and residential student life.”

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact