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Pro-Palestinian protesters take over Columbia building, barricade doors

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Dozens of protesters breached an administrative building at Columbia University early Tuesday morning, barricading entrances while flying a Palestinian flag out a window on the Ivy League campus in Manhattan.

Students used furniture to barricade Hamilton Hall, which was occupied during a 1968 civil rights and anti-Vietnam War protest, AP reports. The student radio station, WKCR-FM, broadcast a play-by-play of the takeover.

Reports state protesters locked down the building in fewer than five minutes once they’d entered, according to the Columbia Spectator, which detailed how the demonstrators carried out the takeover starting just past midnight.

Axios reports that a coalition of student groups behind the protest has called for, among other things, divesting university endowment funds from companies that do business with the Israeli government.

Columbia President Minouche Shafik said in a statement Monday: “We are consulting with a broader group in our community to explore alternative internal options to end this crisis as soon as possible.”

A Columbia protester told reporters: “We will not be moved unless by force.”

Axios has also compiled information from anti-Israel protests on college campuses around the country:

At Cal Poly Humboldt, north of San Francisco among ancient coastal redwoods, student protesters have barricaded themselves for a week in a building that includes the president’s office, tagging walls and renaming it “Intifada Hall,” the New York Times reports.

Cornell and NYU — said they’ll suspend or discipline students involved in encampments. At least 40 people involved in a tent encampment were arrested at the University of Texas in Austin on Monday afternoon.

Nine protesters at the University of Florida were taken into custody and police in riot gear arrested multiple people at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va.

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Leader of the radical pro-Palestine group Manolo De Los Santos arrested in New York

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The head of a radical organization in favor of the Cuban regime and that also openly supports the Hamas terrorist group in New York, was arrested Tuesday after the NYPD evicted an anti-Israel camp at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in Manhattan.

A video posted by The People’s Forum (TPF) on X, formerly Twitter, depicts Manolo De Los Santos, executive director of TPF, an anti-Israel organization that sympathizes with the Chinese Communist Party, was arrested by several NYPD officers wearing riot helmets near the institute’s campus on West 27th Street.

On April 29, more than 100 masked activists met in Manhattan at the office of the TPF, an organization backed by American businessman Neville Roy Singham, a self-proclaimed socialist known for financially supporting left-wing causes, to plan their next moves, while protests Anti-Israel protests reach a fever pitch across the country, reports ADN America.

Manolo De Los Santos urged the group to “give Joe Biden a hot summer” and “make it unsustainable for politics as usual in this country.” Likewise, he asked to recreate “the summer of 2020,” in reference to the violence that besieged major cities in the United States months after the death of Minneapolis man George Floyd, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

A few hours after the meeting was called, dozens of protesters illegally broke into Columbia University’s Hamilton Hall and gained entry through a glass-paneled door that one of those involved broke with a hammer.

Police arrived at the scene after being called by Columbia President Minouche Shafik. In total, 44 people were arrested, including two university staff members and 13 “outsiders” who were not affiliated with the school, Columbia confirmed in a news release Thursday.

The People’s Forum, an organization that describes itself as “a movement incubator for working class and marginalized communities,” has been a mainstay of anti-Israel protests since Hamas’ attack on the Jewish state on October 7, 2023.

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