Hundreds Arrested After Anti-Israel Protesters Riot, Seize Academic Building

( – Protests against educational institutions’ ties to Israel and the war in Gaza have rocked university and college campuses across the nation. Columbia University has been viewed as Ground Zero for the protests. Students recently took over an academic building that was the site of other protests in the past.

On Tuesday, April 30, protesters unfurled a banner from a balcony at Hamilton Hall in Manhattan. The building is where many of Ivy League School’s students take their general education classes and is located across from the main Morningside Heights campus. The protesters broke into the building through a door that they smashed a window out of.

“Hind’s Hall” was scrawled across the banner, an attempt to rename the building after a 6-year-old girl who was killed by Israeli forces.

Columbia University announced it would expel those who were occupying the hall. Additionally, the school suspended students who refused to leave an encampment on the main campus.

Officers with the New York Police Department entered the campus and Hamilton Hall Tuesday night in full riot gear. The university and police claimed professional agitators hijacked the protest and broke into the building, creating a dangerous situation.

Approximately 300 people were arrested at the university.

The arrests came on the anniversary of a similar protest in 1968. Students took over Hamilton Hall at that time to protest segregation and the Vietnam War. They held the university’s acting dean hostage, and on April 30, 1968, the NYPD arrested those protesters as well.

Columbia wasn’t the only school that allowed law enforcement onto campus to arrest agitators. At the University of South Florida’s main campus in Tampa, police officers used rubber bullets and tear gas to break up a protest. Ten people were arrested during the incident. UCLA was also forced to cancel classes after violent protests.

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