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

‘Linda Mills, you’re a liar’: Protesters take to WSP after encampment arrests

After police arrested 120 protesters at the Gaza Solidarity Encampment in Gould Plaza Monday evening, hundreds gathered in Washington Square Park to criticize the administration’s response.
Spencer Mulvaney
(Spencer Mulvaney for WSN)

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters gathered in Washington Square Park on Tuesday afternoon, criticizing the university’s authorization of what came to be 120 arrests at the Gaza Solidarity Encampment Monday night and continuing to call for divestment from Israel. 

Early Tuesday morning, after all protesters had been cleared from Gould Plaza, New York City Police Department officers barricaded the space with wooden boards and plastic barriers. At universities where students have also been arrested at similar protests, such as Columbia University and Yale University, the encampments have continued for several days. However, this has not been the case at NYU, where there are fewer large, outdoor university-owned spaces to occupy.

(Manasa Gudavalli for WSN)

At the strike, demonstrators chanted, “Linda Mills, you’re a liar, you set Gould Plaza on fire,” “IOF, NYPD, get off our university” and “free Palestine.” A group of protesters had also gathered in front of Gould Plaza Tuesday morning, but later dispersed.

Speakers from groups including NYU Students for Justice in Palestine and Faculty for Justice in Palestine said the universitywide email signed by Mills and Campus Safety head Fountain Walker drew a misleading account of events at the encampment, saying “allegations of the threats to student safety inside the camp are baseless.” 

University spokesperson John Beckman said outside protesters breached barriers set up in front of Gould Plaza against Campus Safety instructions, and that “there were several Bias Response Line reports from the event of antisemitic behavior, including antisemitic chants and a Jewish student who was spat on, had something thrown at them, and was the object of antisemitic slurs, while holding an Israeli flag” in a statement to WSN. Beckman confirmed the account of events in NYU’s email, and also said protesters inside the plaza encouraged others to enter through the barricades. This account was challenged by the university’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors in a recent statement.

“We are inspired by the example that our students are setting for the world right now,” a faculty speaker and FJP member who had been arrested the day before said to the crowd. “There’s an unprecedented repression of pro-Palestinian speech on campus and we’ve got your back — we got your back last night, and will continue to do so, and to stick up for your rights to call for divestment from Israel and from the NYU Tel Aviv campus.”

(Julia Smerling for WSN)
(Julia Smerling for WSN)

NYU FJP member Meira Gold, one of the protesters arrested at the encampment, said she did not feel unsafe during Monday’s protests until the NYPD was called. Gold added that once she was released, students showed her Mills’ email, which she said contained “blatant lies about what actually occurred.”

“I am talking as a Jewish faculty member who is just beyond tired of the weaponization of antisemitism that has been happening, not to say that it doesn’t exist but the narrative of this widespread is simply not what’s happened,” Gold said. “It is not just that the antisemitism narrative is wrong and being weaponized, it is actually deflecting from what is really happening, which is a systemic issue of racism on campus right now to silence anyone speaking up for Palestine, and I can’t keep going.”

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Update, April 24: This article has been updated with additional information from a university spokesperson.

Contact Adrianna Nehme and Dharma Niles at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Adrianna Nehme
Adrianna Nehme, News Editor
Adrianna Nehme is a sophomore still trying to decide what to major in. Originally from a small town in Indiana, she moved to Chicago, Illinois for high school — where she was also the news editor for the school paper! She loves experiencing music live at concerts, seeking restaurants to try in the city and reading fiction novels — her all-time favorite is "The Cider House Rules" by John Irving. Check out her latest adventures on Instagram @adrianna.nehme.
Dharma Niles
Dharma Niles, Deputy News Editor
Dharma Niles is a first-year student currently studying journalism and politics at CAS, and has yet to choose between the six different minors she'd also like to pursue. You can generally find her playing NYT games, skittering around the city with a Celsius in hand or on Instagram @dharmaniles.
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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