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

NYU students join hundreds at Columbia pro-Palestinian encampment

More than 100 student protesters were arrested at the “Gaza Solidarity Encampment” at Columbia University on Thursday afternoon. NYU students and faculty were reportedly not among those arrested.
Manasa Gudavalli
Pro-Palestinian protesters gathered outside Columbia University as NYPD officers guard the campus walls and subway station, following the arrest of over 100 students. (Manasa Gudavalli for WSN)

The New York City Police Department arrested over 100 students during a pro-Palestinian demonstration at Columbia University yesterday, where NYU students joined hundreds at the “Gaza Solidarity Encampment” on the university’s Morningside Heights campus starting early Wednesday morning. 

An NYU spokesperson told WSN that the university has not received any reports of student or faculty arrests, and the NYPD was not able to provide any additional information. During the 34-hour-long protest, demonstrators called for Columbia to divest from companies with ties to Israel. 

At about 1 p.m. Thursday, Columbia president Minouche Shafik authorized the NYPD to remove protesters from the university’s South Lawn, and later announced that all Columbia students involved in the encampment have been suspended from the university. The encampment later continued in another location on Columbia’s campus, the Columbia Daily Spectator reported.

Police officers stand next to each other in a line in front of the wall of a building. One stands slightly in front of the others. Next to them is a group of people marching, one waving the Palestinian flag.
NYPD officers line the walls of Columbia University’s main campus. (Manasa Gudavalli for WSN)

NYPD officers arrived in riot gear and equipped with zip ties at around 1:30 p.m. to arrest protesters for trespassing after they refused to vacate the area. Police proceeded to remove dozens of student protesters and at least two legal observers from the encampment, placing them on buses and taking them to One Police Plaza — where the NYPD’s headquarters is located. The NYPD then barricaded and patrolled subway entrances near the Columbia campus.

The NYPD had released all arrested students from custody by late Thursday evening. Most of the students arrested received criminal court summons, a type of ticket that typically allows recipients to leave the night they are arrested, an NYPD spokesperson told WSN. 

In an NYU Students for Justice in Palestine Instagram post from yesterday afternoon, the group called on students to “flood Columbia for Gaza” and said it stands in “full solidarity” with the student protesters at Columbia in a later post. SJP also encouraged students to support those arrested at One Police Plaza on social media.

Two people wearing coats stand behind a table full of snacks. There is a large stack of pizza boxes next to the table. A person in a red jacket stands in front of the table.
Community members brought food, water, masks and other supplies to distribute to the arrested protesters upon their release. (Manasa Gudavalli for WSN)

“We heard about the mass arrests and decided to gather some students to make sandwiches, so we made a bunch of sandwiches and came down to drop them off,” an NYU student protester, who asked to remain anonymous due to safety concerns, told WSN. 

The mass arrests came around a day after Shafik and three other Columbia administrators testified about the university’s handling of antisemitism on campus before Congress, appearing to avoid the same pitfalls that led the presidents of Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania to resign after their own hearings in early December. The hearing focused on Shafik’s response to faculty comments about the Palestinian militant group Hamas that were perceived as antisemitic.

At NYU, university leadership has repeatedly emphasized its disciplinary action policies since the start of the war in Gaza, stating it had 90 student conduct cases under review in November and adding another 70 cases by March. This semester, two professors were suspended following comments on media coverage of Hamas and posts related to Israel’s ongoing siege in Gaza. NYU also suspended a first-year student for taking down posters of Israeli hostages in December, and the student is now suing the university for allegedly misapplying its conduct policies to her case.

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  • Protesters outside the headquarters of the New York City Police Department. (Kevin Wu for WSN)

  • Pro-Palestinian demonstrators sit outside Luna Pizza on Park Row, waiting for the arrested students to be released. (Manasa Gudavalli for WSN)

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Contact Mariapaula Gonzalez at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Manasa Gudavalli
Manasa Gudavalli, Editor-in-Chief
Manasa Gudavalli is a super senior studying a super strange combination of psychology, mathematics, journalism, and chemistry. When they are not editing the Washington Square News, they are probably reading Freud, watching college football, or developing film photos. You can find them on Instagram @manasa.gudavalli and

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