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

120 arrested at ‘Gaza Solidarity Encampment,’ most released

Police were seen barricading Gould Plaza, where the encampment was set up on Monday, with wooden planks and plastic barriers.
Lianna O’Grady
(Lianna O’Grady for WSN)

Police arrested 120 protesters, including students and faculty, at the “Gaza Solidarity Encampment” Monday evening, a New York City Police Department spokesperson told WSN in an updated statement. Police said all but four of those taken into custody had been released.

The arrests at NYU come after mass arrests at Columbia University and Yale University earlier this week, where more than 100 and 47 protesters were taken into custody, respectively. Encampment protests have continued at Columbia and Yale, and the NYU Palestine Solidarity Coalition plans to hold a strike and town hall in Washington Square Park at 1 p.m.

The protesters who have yet to be released from police custody were given Desk Appearance Tickets, which require a person to appear in criminal court. All other arrested protesters were issued summonses, which can include only one charge — in this case trespass — and allow those who receive them to respond to the court by mail or in person.

NYPD officers have set up wooden boards and plastic barriers to cover Gould Plaza’s West Fourth Street entrance, and also hosed down the plaza’s floors. Around a dozen police officers remain near the steps leading into the plaza.

A few dozen students set up the encampment at Gould Plaza early yesterday morning, gaining support from hundreds more protesters throughout the day. Protesters called for NYU to divest from companies with ties to Israel and close its Tel Aviv site. At around 8:30 p.m., police swept the plaza with the university’s permission, taking the protesters inside into custody. 

Following the arrests, some remaining protesters tried to block correctional buses taking those taken into custody to NYPD headquarters in downtown Manhattan. A group of around 100 protesters made its way to where those arrested were being held, protesting outside with signs, chants and flares. 

NYU said that protesters “breached” barriers between the plaza and West Fourth Street against university instructions in a letter posted to the social media platform X by NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Operations Kaz Daughtry. In the letter, the university said protesters ignored multiple requests for them to leave Gould Plaza and that it now considered them to be trespassers. NYU then authorized the NYPD to clear the plaza and arrest protesters if needed. 

The NYU Palestine Solidarity Coalition and a spokesperson for NYU did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 

Update, April 23: This article has been changed to include an updated statement from the NYPD and additional information on protest activity near campus.

Sidney Snider contributed reporting.

Contact Carmo Moniz at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Carmo Moniz
Carmo Moniz, Managing Editor
Carmo Moniz is a junior studying journalism and politics. She enjoys covering city news and dabbling in data journalism, and aspires to one day join the journalism-to-law-school pipeline. When she's not in classes or at the Washington Square News, you can find her looking for a movie to watch or embarking on random art projects. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @carmo_moniz or send tips at [email protected].

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