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From Columbia to Nationwide: Gaza War Protests Gain Momentum- AP

Inspired by the protests at Columbia, hundreds of students have set up protest encampments on at least a dozen other American college campuses across the United States of America to protest lsrael’s actions in the war with Hamas, according to AP.

Among other demands, they are calling for their schools to cut financial ties with Israel and the companies supporting the conflict. The protests come as universities are winding up the spring semester and preparing for graduation ceremonies.

Participants in the Columbia protest, dubbed the “Gaza Solidarity Encampment,” characterize their organizing as both carefully planned and spontaneously improvised. They believe the university’s aggressive response has fueled the movement’s momentum.

Nearby New York University, 133 protesters were arrested late Monday for disorderly conduct. Mayor Eric Adams stated that some officers were hit with objects during this week’s protests.

In Connecticut, police arrested 48 protesters, including four non-students, at Yale University on Monday for refusing to leave an encampment on campus. Yale President Peter Salovey stated that protesters declined an offer to end the demonstration and meet with trustees. After warnings, school officials deemed the situation unsafe, leading to police clearing the encampment and making arrests.

Harvard University in Massachusetts is taking preemptive measures against protests by restricting access to Harvard Yard. They have also posted signs prohibiting unauthorized tents or tables on campus.

Literature Ph.D. student Christian Deleon said he understood why the Harvard administration may be trying to avoid protests but said there still has to be a place for students to express what they think.

“We should all be able to use these kinds of spaces to protest, to make our voices heard,” he said.

Leo Auerbach, a student at the University of Michigan, said the differing stances on the war hadn’t led to his feeling unsafe on campus but he has been fearful of the “hateful rhetoric and antisemitic sentiment being echoed.”

“If we’re trying to create an inclusive community on campus, there needs to be constructive dialogue between groups,” Auerbach said. “And right now, there’s no dialogue that is occurring.”

Columbia President Minouche Shafik said in a message to the school community Monday that she was “deeply saddened” by what was happening on the campus, where some Jewish students say the criticism of Israel has veered into antisemitism.

U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson planned a trip to visit Jewish students at the university on Wednesday and address antisemitism on college campuses in a press conference.

مدخل جامعة سيانس بو في باريس

Protests Spread to France

In a move similar to demonstrations at American universities, students closed the entrances to the prestigious Sciences Po University in Paris, on Friday. Through this action, the students call on the university to condemn Israeli actions in its war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. They raised Palestinian flags on the windows and building, chanting slogans in support of the Palestinians, according to France 24.

A number of them wore the black and white keffiyeh, which has become a symbol of solidarity with Gaza.

Hisham, 22 years old, a master’s student in humanitarian studies at the university, said, “When we see what is happening in the United States and now in Australia, we really hope that this will spread here in France.” He stressed that the students want the university to condemn Israel’s actions.

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