New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Pro-Palestinian activists spray paint NYU subway station

At the start of the university’s Weekend on the Square events, unidentified activists spray painted the Eighth Street-NYU station with the words “FUNDS GENOCIDE” under tiles spelling out “New York University.”
(Talia Jane via communiqué)

Unidentified pro-Palestinian activists wrote “FUNDS GENOCIDE” in red spray paint under tiles spelling out “New York University” on the wall of the Eighth Street-NYU subway station on Saturday, at the start of the university’s Weekend on the Square events for admitted students. 

In an unsigned statement on the social media platform X, the activists said the message was directed to students and families visiting the university for the event. They said the event is “crucial to NYU’s public image” and provides the university with “a moment to ensure a new base of donors.” 

“If NYU refuses to divest from genocide, we will continue to make sure that they bear the financial burden for their support,” the statement reads. “​​We will drive away your donors, who know better than to give their money to a genocidal endowment. We will turn your students against you, who are already organizing right under your nose. You are fighting a losing battle that will only get worse as this genocide continues.”

The activists also called for NYU to shut down its study abroad site in Tel Aviv, reiterating previous calls from protesters on campus. The university has repeatedly stood by the Tel Aviv program.

In their statement, the activists also said they reject “NYU’s investments in weapons manufacturing companies that are arming Israel’s genocide in Gaza.” In the past, student protesters have alleged the university holds investments in multiple arms manufacturers, including Northrop Grumman, Caterpillar Inc., Lockheed Martin and Boeing.

University spokesperson John Beckman said in a statement to WSN that any NYU students found to be involved in the incident will be subject to disciplinary measures and be responsible for any associated clean-up costs. Beckman also said the university will be in contact with the MTA to provide clean-up assistance and offer to help the New York City Police Department with any criminal investigations. 

“NYU thinks that defacing a public subway station in this way is a disgrace: witless vandalism worthy of nothing but condemnation,” Beckman wrote. “All New Yorkers share the subway; this vandalism is not only malicious, it’s just plain selfish.”

A member of NYU’s chapter of Faculty for Justice in Palestine, which reposted the activists’ statement and photos of the subway station on Instagram, said the group had no further knowledge of the incident in a statement to WSN.

“It’s no secret that the university has numerous financial ties to Israel and is profiting from a deeply unpopular genocide,” the statement reads. “The admin are also suspending, disciplining and censoring pro-Palestine students and faculty, who are disproportionately people of color and other marginalized communities. So I suspect there will be further public actions until NYU shuts down its Tel Aviv campus and begins to divest from Israel.” 

This past weekend, student groups including NYU’s chapter of the Young Democratic Socialists of America and Palestine Solidarity Coalition demonstrated outside the Kimmel Center for University Life and the Stern School of Business, where Weekend on the Square events were taking place. Protesters held signs that read “NYU FUNDS GENOCIDE” and “SHUT DOWN TEL AVIV.” 

“To prospective students and families — we will not stand down in the face of genocide,” an Instagram post made by NYU YDSA reads. “We reject the university’s silence and support of the occupation. Any student coming to NYU should be aware that NYU is an actor in the occupation and genocide.”

Contact Bruna Horvath at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Bruna Horvath
Bruna Horvath, News Editor
Bruna Horvath is a sophomore studying journalism and English at CAS. When she’s not a News Editor, she’s a "Gone Girl" enthusiast, a Goodreads lover, and a Barnes & Noble frequenter. You can usually find her ordering an iced mocha, telling people her name is “Bruna” not “Bruno,” or on Instagram @brunaahorvath.

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