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

Dozens arrested after NYU authorizes NYPD to sweep Gould Plaza

NYU asked the New York City Police Department to remove protesters from Gould Plaza and take action “accordingly up to and including arrest” in a letter on Monday.
Manasa Gudavalli
(Manasa Gudavalli for WSN)

The New York City Police Department arrested dozens of protesters at the “Gaza Solidarity Encampment” in Gould Plaza at around 8:30 p.m. Monday, after the university authorized police to remove protesters and arrest them if necessary, a letter from NYU to the NYPD posted on the social media platform X shows. The protesters were all arrested for trespass. 

An NYPD spokesperson told WSN police would not have an exact number of arrests until Tuesday morning. More than 100 protesters have gathered near One Police Plaza — where the NYPD’s headquarters is located — to support those who were arrested, holding signs and chanting.

In a recent post on Instagram, NYU Students for Justice in Palestine said members of SJP, NYU Law Students for Justice in Palestine, NYU Students for a Democratic Society, Shut it Down NYU and NYC Healthcare Workers 4 Palestine were among those arrested. The arrests come after similar sweeps of pro-Palestinian encampment protests at Columbia University and Yale University, where more than 108 and 47 protesters were arrested, respectively.

In the letter from NYU to the NYPD posted on X — which has the name of the person who gave police the authority to remove protesters on the university’s behalf redacted — NYU said protesters had “ignored” requests for them to leave Gould Plaza, and considered the demonstrators to be trespassers. 

“At this point we consider all protesters occupying Gould Plaza to be trespassers and we would like the NYPD to clear the area and to take action to remove the protesters,” the letter reads. “In the event they refuse to leave, we request the NYPD take enforcement action accordingly up to and including arrest.”

NYU spokesperson John Beckman told WSN that after closing access to the plaza with barriers earlier today, it had told protesters it would not “allow additional protesters to join because the protests were already considerably disruptive of classes and other operations.” Beckman said the university chose not to “move to clear the plaza” earlier today because it wanted to “avoid any escalation or violence.”

Beckman then said protesters “breached the barriers” put in place at the plaza in violation of Campus Safety directions and university policies. He also said there were reports of “intimidating chants and several antisemitic incidents” at the protest.

“Today’s events did not need to lead to this outcome,” Beckman wrote. “We will continue to support individuals’ right to freedom of expression, and, as we have said since October, the safety of our students and maintaining an equitable learning environment remain paramount.” 

The Palestine Solidarity Coalition did not respond to a request for comment. Beckman did not respond to a request for comment regarding the letter to the NYPD.

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Contact Carmo Moniz and Yezen Saadah [email protected].

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About the Contributors
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].
Yezen Saadah
Yezen Saadah, Editor-in-Chief
Yezen Saadah is a junior studying cinema studies, journalism and Middle Eastern studies. He's a lover of cinema, history, art and literature, and he enjoys writing about pretty much anything. If he isn't in the newsroom or at the movies, he's probably just trying to enjoy his day off. Contact him on Instagram @yezen.saadah or send tips to [email protected]
Matt Petres
Matt Petres, Photo Editor
Matt Petres is a first-year studying Economics. He is from Chicago, Illinois and likes to bike and kayak. You can contact him on Instagram @matt.petres
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
Alex Tey
Alex Tey, Editor-at-Large
Alex Tey was previously WSN’s editor-in-chief. She is now at large. Watch out!

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