More wild anti-Israel protesters descend on Columbia University lawn vowing to ‘hold this line’
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Unfazed by Thursday’s mass arrests, protests are continuing at Columbia University on Friday and a large police presence is being reported.

Demonstrators are currently marching through the streets toward the university, chanting with signs and flags.

Earlier in the day, protesters returned to the campus’ lawn area to continue their anti-Israel protest and say they will “hold this line” until their demands are met. 

Video shows dozens of people, many donning black-and-white keffiyeh headscarves and COVID-19 masks, planted down on sheets and sleeping bags on a lawn adjacent to where yesterday’s fiery protests took place. 

A large banner with the words “Gaza Solidarity Encampment” marked their territory and several Palestinian flags were flying throughout their occupied zone.

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The mood was a lot quieter than Thursday and piles of food and drinks could be seen in the center of the encampment, indicating the protesters were there for the long haul. Unlike yesterday, there are no tents and those involved say on social media they’ve been told they can remain on the lawn as long as no tents are pitched.

Anti-Israel-protest-Columbia-university

Students at Columbia University returned to the campus’ lawn area on Friday morning to continue their anti-Israel protest and say they will “hold this line” until their demands are met.

“Your organizers are returning, I ask you to please hold this line and to continue to bring people out in support of Palestine to get our demands,” one protestor holding a Dunkin’ Donuts cup railed into a bullhorn.

“The more they try to silence us the louder we will be,” he began chanting, as others joined in. He then broke into a trade union-inspired song called “Rich Man’s House,” singing: “So I went down the rich man’s house and I stole what he took with me.”

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Pro-Palestine protestors demonstrate outside of Columbia University’s campus

Pro-Palestine protestors demonstrate outside of Columbia University’s campus in New York City on Thursday, April 18, 2024. Multiple students were arrested as officers cleared an encampment on the campus’ lawn. (Peter Gerber for Fox News Digital)

The demonstrators say they are protesting Columbia University’s continued “financial investment in corporations that profit from Israel apartheid, genocide, and occupation in Palestine.”

They are calling for the university to make public all of its financial investments, no further arrests and the dropping of charges for all students disciplined for their involvement in the protests. 

In total, 108 people were arrested and given a summons for trespassing, the New York Police Department (NYPD) said during a Thursday press conference, including the daughter of Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. Two people were additionally given a summons for obstruction of governmental administration. 

“While the encampment has been dismantled, our community has had protest activity on campus since October, and we expect that activity to continue,” a Columbia University spokesperson tells Fox News. “We have rules regarding the time, place, and manner that apply to protest activity and we will continue to enforce those. We remain in regular contact with our students and student groups and are committed to ensuring the core functions of the University continue.”

Protester at Columbia University

Students at Columbia University returned to the campus’ lawn area on Friday morning to continue their anti-Israel protest and say they will “hold this line” until their demands are met. (FNTV)

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The NYPD was invited to the university by school President Minouche Shafik on Thursday. Earlier in the day, Shafik sent a message to the student body, saying that these “extraordinary steps” were necessary “because these are extraordinary circumstances” and that the protesters had “violated a long list of rules and policies.”

The police operation was the first mass arrests to be made on the Columbia campus since 1968, when hundreds of students occupied Hamilton Hall in protest of the Vietnam War and the planned construction of a gymnasium in Morningside Park were detained, the Columbia Spector reported. 

Like many Ivy League college campuses, Columbia University has seen numerous pro-Palestinian protests sprout since Oct. 7. The demonstrations have gotten more intense as Israel continues to conduct its military offensive in the Gaza Strip against Hamas.  

Fox News’ CB Cotton, Stephen Sorace and Louis Casiano contributed to this report. 



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