Activists disrupt Michigan commencement as NYPD comes under fire for crackdown

Students continued protesting the Israel-Hamas war on Saturday, with pro-Palestinian activists carrying flags and banners during the University of Michigan’s commencement ceremony.

The action comes after the NYPD revealed on Friday morning that a police officer with the department’s Emergency Service Unit “unintentionally” fired his gun while trying to access a locked office at Columbia University on Tuesday night.

The bullet hit a wall inside the office. No one was injured.

On Thursday morning, hundreds of police officers dismantled a pro-Palestinian protest camp at the University of California at Los Angeles and arrested more than 130 demonstrators.

Live TV footage showed protesters under arrest, kneeling on the ground, their hands bound behind their backs with zip ties. Loud explosions were heard during the clash from flash-bang charges, or stun grenades, fired by police.

President Joe Biden also denounced protests that turned violent on college campuses on Thursday.

Key Points

  • Pro-Palestinian students protest Michigan graduation ceremony

  • President Joe Biden condemns violent campus protests

  • Police mass near UCLA pro-Palestinian protest camp

  • Columbia student journalists broadcast NYPD college raid to the world from the inside

  • Faculty condemn police activity on Columbia’s campus

Pro-Palestinian students protest Michigan graduation ceremony

21:51 , Josh Marcus

Students protested the University of Michigan’s commencement ceremony on Saturday, the latest manifestation of the wave of demonstrations against the Israel-Hamas war taking place across the country.

Salma Hamamy, center, holds a Flag of Palestine during a Pro-Palestinian protest during the University of Michigan's spring commencement ceremony (Getty Images)Salma Hamamy, center, holds a Flag of Palestine during a Pro-Palestinian protest during the University of Michigan's spring commencement ceremony (Getty Images)

Salma Hamamy, center, holds a Flag of Palestine during a Pro-Palestinian protest during the University of Michigan’s spring commencement ceremony (Getty Images)

The group comprised about 75 people, and featured students wearing grad caps and kaffiyehs.

One demonstrator carried a banner reading, “No universities left in Gaza,” a refence to Israel’s destruction of every university in the Gaza Strip in the course of the ongoing conflict. Others held Palestinian flags.

Colleen Mastony, a university spokesperson, told The Associated Press that public safety personnel escorted the activists to the back of the stadium where the ceremony was taking place.

“Peaceful protests like this have taken place at U-M commencement ceremonies for decades,” she added.

No arrests took place, and the demonstration didn’t seriously delay the multi-hour ceremony.

ICYMI: UN human rights chief ‘troubled’ by treatment of Gaza protesters at US universities

21:00 , Graig Graziosi

UN human rights chief ‘troubled’ by treatment of Gaza protesters at US universities

A retired teacher saw inspiration in Columbia’s protests. Eric Adams called her an outside agitator

19:00 , Graig Graziosi

Before police officers poured into Columbia University on Tuesday night, arresting more than 100 people as they cleared an occupied school building and tent encampment, New York City Mayor Eric Adams received a piece of intelligence he said shifted his thinking about the campus demonstrations over the war in Gaza.

“Outside agitators” working to “radicalize our children” were leading students into more extreme tactics, the mayor claimed. And one of them, Adams said repeatedly in media appearances Wednesday morning, was a woman whose husband was “convicted for terrorism.”

But the woman referenced by the mayor wasn’t on Columbia’s campus this week, isn’t among the protesters who were arrested and has not been accused of any crime.

Read more:

A retired teacher saw inspiration in Columbia’s protests. Eric Adams called her an outside agitator

VIDEO: NYPD tear down tents inside Fordham University to disperse Gaza protesters

17:00 , Graig Graziosi

NYPD tear down tents inside Fordham University to disperse Gaza protesters

ICYMI: Human Rights Watch weighs in on response to protests

14:00 , Graig Graziosi

The Human Rights Watch, a non-governmental organisation that advocates for human rights, weighed in on the pro-Palestinian protests popping up across the country.

Louis Charbonneau, United Nations Director for the organisation, wrote that colleges must protect students’ right to protest.

“There have been troubling reports of antisemitic incidents in and around Columbia University’s campus,” Mr Charbonneau wrote. “Allegations of antisemitic acts and speech by individuals, as well as acts of Islamophobia and other forms of discrimination, should be investigated and addressed on the merits in a case-by-case basis, through fair and transparent processes.”

“As protests spread to campuses across the country, university administrations should be careful not to mislabel criticism of Israeli government policies or advocacy for Palestinian rights as inherently antisemitic or to misuse university authority to quash peaceful protest,” he continued. “Instead, universities should safeguard people’s rights to assembly and free expression.”

ICYMI: Coalition of Columbia faculty call for vote of no confidence in administrators

13:00 , Graig Graziosi

The Columbia University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors is calling for a vote of no confidence in President Minouche Shafik and her fellow administrators.

In a statement, the chapter condemned her decision to call the New York Police Department on protesters who had occupied Hamilton Hall Tuesday night.

“This decision was made without consultation with the University Senate, in violation of established procedures, by recourse to so-called emergency powers,” the chapter said in a Thursday statement. “It also flew in the face of efforts by the AAUP and faculty trusted by the student protestors to de-escalate the situation on campus and to serve as observers in negotiations–efforts endorsed by the University Senate chair that continued into the afternoon before the assault.”

More than 100 people were arrested on Columbia’s campus Tuesday evening.

WATCH: Biden insists ‘order must prevail’ as police shut down college Gaza protests

11:00 , Graig Graziosi

Pulitzer Prize board praises student journalist efforts at Columbia

09:00 , Graig Graziosi

The Pulitzer Prize Board, housed under Columbia University, praised student journalists’ efforts to cover the protests even while facing “risk of arrest.”

“As we gather to consider the nation’s finest and most courageous journalism, the Pulitzer Prize Board would like to recognize the tireless efforts of student journalists across our nation’s college campuses, who are covering protests and unrest in the face of great personal and academic risk,” the board wrote on Thursday, four days ahead of announcing the 2024 prize winners.

“We would also like to acknowledge the extraordinary real-time reporting of student journalists at Columbia University, where the Pulitzer Prizes are housed, as the New York Police Department was called onto campus on Tuesday night,” they continued.

As The Independent’s Alex Woodward reported, student journalists worked round the clock to capture the historic demonstrations on college campuses across the country.

Read more:

Columbia student journalists broadcast NYPD college raid to the world from the inside

Police clear Portland State University library a second time

07:00 , Graig Graziosi

Pro-Palestinian protesters broke back into the Portland State University Library on Thursday evening, leading to police again entering and clearing the building.

At least seven more people were arrested on Thursday evening, according to KGW.

Portland Police added that Portland State University’s Campus Safety detained one person.

“We can now confirm that trespassers did pull down the fence and broke back into the library. Police officers moved back into the library and made arrests. Arrests have also been made for people refusing to leave the park block at the library,” Portland Police wrote on X.

Thirty people had been arrested so far as of Thursday afternoon in connection to the pro-Palestinian protests on the campus of Portland State, according to the Portland Police Bureau. At least seven were PSU students, according to Portland Police.

Officer ‘unintentionally’ fired gun while breaching locked office at Columbia, NYPD says

04:59 , Graig Graziosi

Stanford sends FBI photo of protester in alleged Hamas-like headband

04:00 , Graig Graziosi

Stanford University said it sent a photo of a protester in a green headband to the FBI.

The school issued an update on the state of the school and the ongoing protests on 30 April, and mentioned that a photo circulating on social media of the protester with the green headband had caused some concern.

“We have received many expressions of concern about a photo circulating on social media of an individual on White Plaza who appeared to be wearing a green headband similar to those worn by members of Hamas. We find this deeply disturbing, as Hamas is designated a terrorist organization by the United States government,” the school said in the statement. “We have not been able to identify the individual but have forwarded the photo to the FBI.”

PHOTOS: Portland students face off with police

03:00 , Graig Graziosi

Pro-Palestinian students and activists face police officers after protesters were evicted from the library on campus earlier in the day at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon on May 2, 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)Pro-Palestinian students and activists face police officers after protesters were evicted from the library on campus earlier in the day at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon on May 2, 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)

Pro-Palestinian students and activists face police officers after protesters were evicted from the library on campus earlier in the day at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon on May 2, 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)

Portland Police detain a protester who re-occupied the Portland State University Library building with others after it had been cleared and several protesters were detained earlier in the day, during the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Portland, Oregon, U.S., May 2, 2024 (REUTERS)Portland Police detain a protester who re-occupied the Portland State University Library building with others after it had been cleared and several protesters were detained earlier in the day, during the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Portland, Oregon, U.S., May 2, 2024 (REUTERS)

Portland Police detain a protester who re-occupied the Portland State University Library building with others after it had been cleared and several protesters were detained earlier in the day, during the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Portland, Oregon, U.S., May 2, 2024 (REUTERS)

Portland Police chase protesters who re-occupied the Portland State University Library building after it had been cleared and several protesters detained earlier in the day, during the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Portland, Oregon, U.S., May 2, 2024 (REUTERS)Portland Police chase protesters who re-occupied the Portland State University Library building after it had been cleared and several protesters detained earlier in the day, during the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Portland, Oregon, U.S., May 2, 2024 (REUTERS)

Portland Police chase protesters who re-occupied the Portland State University Library building after it had been cleared and several protesters detained earlier in the day, during the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Portland, Oregon, U.S., May 2, 2024 (REUTERS)

Nearly 2,200 people have been arrested during pro-Palestinian protests on US college campuses

02:00 , Graig Graziosi

Police have arrested nearly 2,200 people during pro-Palestinian protests at college campuses across the United States in recent weeks, sometimes using riot gear, tactical vehicles and flash-bang devices to clear tent encampments and occupied buildings. One officer accidentally discharged his gun inside a Columbia University administration building while clearing out protesters camped inside, authorities said.

No one was injured by the officer’s mistake late Tuesday inside Hamilton Hall on the Columbia campus, the NYPD said Thursday. He was trying to use the flashlight attached to his gun at the time and instead fired a single round that struck a frame on the wall.

There were other officers but no students in the immediate vicinity, officials said. Body camera footage shows when the officer’s gun went off, but the district attorney’s office is conducting a review, a standard practice.

ICYMI: Watch as Lauren Boebert is heckled by students after turning up to college Gaza protest

01:00 , Graig Graziosi

Biden condemns unrest following Gaza protests after police storm campuses: ‘Violent protest is not protected’

Saturday 4 May 2024 00:00 , Graig Graziosi

President Biden on Thursday condemned the unrest and violence that has disrupted college campuses over the last week while stressing the importance of Americans’ right to protest peacefully in support of the Palestinian people’s treatment during Israel’s ongoing war against Hamas in Gaza.

Mr Biden, speaking from the East Room of the White House, said peaceful protest is “in the best tradition of how Americans respond to consequential issues” because the US is “not an authoritarian nation where we silence people or squash dissent”.

He said the images of police clashing with protesters put the “fundamental American principles” of free speech and the rule of law “to the test” as he pointed out the importance of maintaining the latter to allow the former.

The Independent’s White House Correspondent Andrew Feinberg has the story:

Biden condemns unrest after Gaza demonstrations: ‘Violent protest is not protected’

ICYMI: US House passes bipartisan antisemitism bill

Friday 3 May 2024 23:00 , Graig Graziosi

The US House of Representatives passed an antisemitism bill on Wednesday evening as pro-Palestinian campus protests surge across the country.

The bill would create “a clear definition of antisemitism” if passed by the US Senate and signed by the president. In turn, this bill would then allow the US Department of Education to cut funding to schools found tolerating behaviour that falls under the definition.

The bill passed with bipartisan support, 320-91.

Free speech advocates, however, oppose the bill. The American Civil Liberties Union argues the bill “would likely chill free speech of students on college campuses by incorrectly equating criticism of the Israeli government with antisemitism.”

PEN America, a non-profit that advocates for free expression, also condemned the bill, noting that it would adopt the definition of antisemitism as laid out by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

“This definition, and its illustrative examples, is overbroad; its enshrinement into law could lead to significant impairment of academic freedom, free speech and legitimate political expression,” the organisation wrote this week.

“Codifying the IHRA definition, which was never intended to be legally binding or otherwise codified into law, is not the right way to attack antisemitic speech and bigotry,” the organisation continued. “Its vague nature is ill-suited to serve as a legal standard, much less form a basis for punitive action.”

Representative Michael Lawler, a Republican from New York who sponsored the bill, said enshrining the IHRA definition in law will instead protect Jewish students on college campuses.

“By requiring the Department of Education to adopt the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism and its contemporary examples, the Antisemitism Awareness Act gives teeth to federal anti-discrimination laws to go after those who attack their Jewish peers,” Mr Lawler said. “Politics should never get in the way of the safety of students. The strong bipartisan support for and passage of this legislation will ensure that it won’t.”

The University of Buffalo says ok to protests, but no to an encampment

Friday 3 May 2024 22:30 , Graig Graziosi

The University of Buffalo said on Friday that it was amenable to hosting Gaza protesters, so long as they follow the school’s guidelines and do not occupy buildings or build an encampment.

It said in a statement that in addition to staying out of buildings and not camping out, protesters “mus not disrupt university operations or activities including classes, events, meetings, and lectures”.

UB Students for Justice in Palestine, a group planning a demonstration on campus, said it would follow the university’s rules and that it would not camp out overnight.

Columbia University to be investigated by US Department of Education over alleged discrimination against Palestinian students and advocates

Friday 3 May 2024 22:25 , Graig Graziosi

Columbia University is being investigated by the US Department of Education after a civil rights complaint was filed against the school alleging that Palestinian students and their supporters received discriminatory treatment on campus.

The civil rights complaint was filed by Palestine Legal, an advocacy group focused on Palestinian rights. The complaint was filed to the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights on behalf of four students and the on-campus group Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine, ABC News reports.

Palestine Legal’s complaint focuses on the university’s decision to call the NYPD to quash a Gaza protest on campus late Monday and in the overnight hours of Tuesday. It also includes examples of other discriminatory acts against Palestinian, Arab, Muslim, and students who advocated for Palestinian rights prior to the protests.

Columbia president defends decision to call NYPD on Gaza protesters who she says committed a ‘violent act’

Friday 3 May 2024 22:15 , Graig Graziosi

Columbia University’s President Nemat Minouche Shafik defended the school’s decision to call in the NYPD to break up Gaza protests on campus.

She said on Friday that the school tried to negotiate with student protesters before they “crossed a new line” during the overnight hours on Tuesday when they occupied Hamiltion Hall.

The president said the past two weeks had been the most difficult in the school’s history.

“The university made a sincere and good offer but it was not accepted,” she said in a video posted to Instagram. “A group of protesters crossed a new line with the occupation of Hamilton Hall. It was a violent act that put our students at risk, as well as putting the protesters at risk. I walked through the building and saw the damage which was distressing.”

Chicago PD says its in contact with University of Chicago concerning ongoing Gaza protests

Friday 3 May 2024 22:00 , Graig Graziosi

The Chicago Police Department said it has been in contact with the University of Chicago concerning ongoing Gaza protests on the school’s campus.

“Obviously, we are in communication with leadership in most of these situations,” Chicago Police Superintendent Larry Snelling told reporters during a press briefing. “What we don’t want to do as a police department is escalate the situation unnecessarily. So we take our time, we assess the situations and if it’s not necessary for us to go in and attempt to start removing people, then we won’t.”

The city’s mayor, Brandon Johnson, said his administration was committed to “providing a safe, secure place where the First Amendment can ultimately be protected,” and praised the city’s police for opting for “deescalation” over violent crackdowns.

CUNY protesters arrested have been charged with felonies, while Columbia students received misdemeanours

Friday 3 May 2024 21:50 , Graig Graziosi

Discussions have flared up on social media as to why CUNY Gaza protesters who were arrested during a police raid have been charged with felonies, while students arrested at Columbia only received misdemeanour charges.

CUNY Public Safety officers arrested 22 people for allegedly occupying a building. They were ultimate charged with 3rd-degree burglary, a Class D felony. Five of the protesters were arrested off campus by the NYPD, and were charged with 2nd-degree assault, another Class D felony.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office said that as the investigation continues, more charges may be brought against the CUNY arrestees.

Meanwhile, the 48 students arrested at Columbia were arrested on charges that include 3rd-degree burglary, “hate crime burglary,” criminal mischief, and reckless endangerment. However, while they were arrested on those charges, the students reportedly were not actually charged with those crimes, City and State New York reports.

Instead, they were arraigned on criminal trespassing charges, which is a Class B misdemeanour.

It is unclear why the CUNY students were charged differently from the Columbia students, especially considering they were initially arrested on charges similar to those brought against the CUNY students.

Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary says college protesters are ‘screwed’

Friday 3 May 2024 21:30 , Graig Graziosi

Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary has warned that students who have taken part in pro-Palestine protests recently may be “screwed” when they are applying for jobs in the future.

Mr O’Leary’s remarks came amid a wave of protests across campuses in the US over Joe Biden’s Israel policy, which have seen hundreds of people arrested.

The protests began at Columbia University, where protesters were demanding that their university divest from companies with ties to Israel, and have since spread to other campuses including NYU and UCLA, after more than 100 people, including students, were arrested for trespassing at Columbia, with the university also suspending some students for taking part in the protests.

READ MORE:

Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary says college protesters are ‘screwed’

Troops fired on Kent State students in 1970. Survivors see echoes in today’s campus protest movement

Friday 3 May 2024 21:00 , Graig Graziosi

Dean Kahler flung himself to the ground and covered his head when the bullets started flying. The Ohio National Guard had opened fire on unarmed war protesters at Kent State University, and Kahler, a freshman, was among them.

M1 rifle rounds hit the ground all around him. “And then I got hit,” Kahler recalled, more than 50 years later. “It felt like a bee sting.” But it was far worse than that — a bullet had gone through his lung, shattered three vertebrae and damaged his spinal cord. He was paralyzed.

Four Kent State students were killed and Kahler and eight others were injured when National Guard members fired into a crowd on May 4, 1970, following a tense exchange in which troops used tear gas to break up an anti-war demonstration and protesters hurled rocks at the guardsmen. It was a watershed moment in U.S. history — a violent bookend to the turbulent 1960s — that galvanized campus protests nationwide and forced the temporary shutdown of hundreds of colleges and universities.

READ MORE:

Troops fired on Kent State students in 1970. Survivors see echoes in today’s campus protest movement

University of Tennessee defends calling police on demonstrators

Friday 3 May 2024 20:45 , Graig Graziosi

The University of Tenneesee has defended its decision to call police in to break up ongoing Gaza protests on campus on Thursday night.

The administration released a statement saying demonstrators could not “monopolize university property for an indefinite period of time.”

“We apply laws and policies to everyone equally and without prejudice to preserve the use and enjoyment of university property and protect the safety of members of our community,” University Chancellor Donde Plowman said in a statement. “A group of individuals does not have the right to monopolize university property for an indefinite period of time.”

Nine people were arrested, including seven students and two other individuals.

Police arrest 56 between NYU, New School encampment raids

Friday 3 May 2024 20:30 , Graig Graziosi

Police cleared out a pair of Gaza protest encampments on Friday at New York University and the New School.

The NYPD said 56 people were arrested, 13 protesters at NYU and another 43 at the New School.

The New School announced on Friday it would move to remote learning to ensure safety on campus.

Demonstrators at the New School spent the last week sleeping inside tents at a campus building and on sidewalks at NYU. Officials at both schools eventually asked the NYPD to intervene to “disperse the illegal encampments.”

Driver in Portland appears to accelerate his car toward PSU protesters before abandoning his vehicle and spraying bear mace at protesters

Friday 3 May 2024 20:15 , Graig Graziosi

A driver in Portland was caught on video slowly turning down a street blocked off by Portland State University protesters before briefly accelerating toward a crowd of demonstrators.

When protesters swarmed the car, the driver exited and ran away, spraying bear mace as he fled.

A license plate on the car read “We the People.”

Protesters caused heavy damage to the abandoned car.

Heather Heyer, a woman who was protesting against white supremacists at the Charlottesville Unite the Right rally in 2017, was killed when a white supremacist drove his car into demonstraters.

University of Wisconsin wants protests ended in time for finals, but says talks with protesters have stalled

Friday 3 May 2024 20:00 , Graig Graziosi

Administrators at the University of Wisconsin said they want an ongoing protest encampment torn down before finals begin next week.

They noted in a statement that talks with the protesters have stalled.

Demonstrators reportedly told school officials that ongoing discussions would be “pointless” if the school continued to refuse to disclose its investments.

Police cleared a protest at the school on Wednesday, but protesters returned.

Columbia Law Review calls for university to cancel finals

Friday 3 May 2024 19:30 , Graig Graziosi

The Columbia Law Review, one of the country’s most prestigious law journals, has called on Columbia Law School to cancel its final exams following the police raid on Tuesday that broke up weeks-long Gaza protests on campus.

The CLR’s Administrative Board Student Editors issued the statement on Wednesday, saying that students should be given passing grades for their “work throughout the semester” rather than their performance on a year-end test.

“The violence we witnessed last night has irrevocably shaken many of us on the Review,” the statement said. “We know this to be the same for a majority of our classmates. Videos have circulated of police clad in riot gear mocking and brutalizing our students.”

“The events of last night left us, and many of our peers, unable to focus and highly emotional during this tumultuous time. This only follows the growing distress that many of us have felt for months as the humanitarian crisis abroad continues to unfold, and as the blatant antisemitism, islamophobia, and racism on campus have escalated.”

Columbia University says ‘outsiders’ were among protesters arrested on Tuesday

Friday 3 May 2024 19:05 , Graig Graziosi

Columbia University released a breakdown of the individuals arrested on Tuesday when police raided the occupied Hamilton Hall to disperse Gaza protests on campus.

The university said in a statement that “outsiders” were among those arrested. According to the school’s data, 13 of the protesters were adults who were not affiliated with the university.

“A significant portion of those who broke the law and occupied Hamilton Hall were outsiders,” a Columbia spokesperson said. “While 14 were Columbia undergraduate students, the majority were a mix of adults, including graduate students, two employees, and outsiders unaffiliated with Columbia University.”

The university said that it is still determining what disciplinary action will be taken saying “the occupiers violated various University policies, but more importantly, they broke the law. Actions have consequences.”

WATCH: Officer ‘unintentionally’ fired gun while breaching locked office at Columbia, NYPD says

Friday 3 May 2024 18:47 , Graig Graziosi

Columbia University releases breakdown of protesters arrested in Hamilton Hall on Tuesday

Friday 3 May 2024 18:21 , Graig Graziosi

Columbia University released a breakdown of the protesters who were arrested during a Tuesday evening NYPD raid on Hamilton Hall, which demonstrators had occupied after defying the university’s 2pm deadline to disperse issued the previous day.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • 13 adults not affiliated with Columbia

  • 6 students from other schools

  • 23 Columbia students, including 14 undergrads and 9 graduate students

  • 2 Columbia employees

New School to hold classes online only after on campus protests

Friday 3 May 2024 17:15 , Graig Graziosi

The New School in New York, a private university, said it would hold its classes online following a police crackdown on protesters at the campus.

“We have been very tolerant of the students’ right to free speech as long as they did not interfere with the educational mission,” Donna Shalala, the school’s interim president, said in a statement on Friday. “Despite entreaties by the Dean of Students, members of the faculty, and student leaders, the protesters have refused to permit entry, which left the university no choice but to protect the rights of our students to access their residence hall, classrooms, library, and cafeteria.”

The NYPD arrested 44 students at the New School on Friday morning.

NYPD says gunshot at Columbia was accidental discharge

Friday 3 May 2024 17:00 , Graig Graziosi

The NYPD held a press conference to address an errant bullet that was fired while officers were trying to clear protesters off of Columbia University’s campus on Tuesday.

New York City’s Deputy Commissioner of Public Information, Tarik Sheppard, told reporters that the bullet was an accidental discharge and that the department averaged about eight accidental shots each year.

“Accidental discharges happen every single year and we average about eight a year and we don’t get request (for information) on it,” he said. “If you do ask about it, we’ll talk about it like we’re doing right now.”

The officer who fired the shot was said to be an 8-year veteran with an “impeccable” service record. The officer was reportedly trying to access a locked office to see if anyone was “hiding inside” and shifted his gun from his dominant hand to his off-hand. That’s when the errant shot fired. No one was injured in the shooting.

That officer will face department evaluation, according to the NYPD. The NY District Attorney’s office is also investigating.

Mr Sheppard said the department has no plans to release bodycam footage, citing department policy to withhold footage showing accidental shots that do not result.

The officer who fired the shot was a member of the Emergency Service Unit clearing protesters out of Columbia’s Hamilton Hall. The errant shot hit a door frame.

WATCH: Jewish Dartmouth professor says police threw her to the ground during Gaza protests and that New Hampshire governor is spreading misinformation

Friday 3 May 2024 16:30 , Graig Graziosi

Annelise Orleck, a professor of history at Dartmouth University, said she was thrown to the ground by police during on Thursday night as law enforcement was cracking down on a Gaza protest at the campus.

Ms Orleck, who is Jewish, said New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu is spreading misinformation by characterising the protests as antisemitic.

“My message is stop weaponizing antisemitism,” she told WMUR.

Mr Sununu called the protests “100 per cent” antisemitic during a press briefing on Wednesday, WMUR reports.

“One hundred percent, this is pure antisemitism,” Mr Sununu said. “This is pure hatred. It is. And again, they have a right to express that. I’m disgusted by it, frankly.”

Friday 3 May 2024 16:15 , Graig Graziosi

Joe Biden said he planned to take executive action aimed at pushing back against a global crackdown on press freedom.

“In the coming weeks, I will be taking executive action in response to the global crackdown on press freedom, as exemplified by the wrongful detention of journalists around the world,” he said. “I will declare this crackdown on press freedom a grave threat to national security and will authorize measures, including sanctions and visa bans, against those who take abusive actions to silence the press.”

Reporters Without Borders maintains a global press freedom index, and said there was a troubling downward trend for journalistic liberty.

“RSF sees a worrying decline in support and respect for media autonomy and an increase in pressure from the state or other political actors,” Anne Bocandé, RSF editorial director, told The Guardian. “States and other political forces are playing a decreasing role in protecting press freedom. This disempowerment sometimes goes hand in hand with more hostile actions that undermine the role of journalists, or even instrumentalise the media through campaigns of harassment or disinformation.”

Here are just a few examples of ongoing press freedom issues:

  • In March 2023, Evan Gershkovich of the Wall Street Journal was arrested in Russia and charged with spying, an allegation both he and the US government strongly reject.

  • Palestinian journalists who survived the opening days of Israel’s military actions in Gaza said they they face harassment and intimidation from Israel while doing their jobs, according to NBC News.

  • In the US, Donald Trump, the leader of one of the Republican Party, has long called the press the “fake news,” the “enemy of the people,” “dishonest,” and “corrupt.

  • Journalists in Turkey face arbitrary lawsuits, harassment, targeted financial pressure on critical journalists, and online censorship, the RSF reports.

Police clear Portland State University library a second time

Friday 3 May 2024 16:00 , Gustaf Kilander

Pro-Palestinian protesters broke back into the Portland State University Library on Thursday evening, leading to police again entering and clearing the building.

At least seven more people were arrested on Thursday evening, according to KGW.

Portland Police added that Portland State University’s Campus Safety detained one person.

“We can now confirm that trespassers did pull down the fence and broke back into the library. Police officers moved back into the library and made arrests. Arrests have also been made for people refusing to leave the park block at the library,” Portland Police wrote on X.

Thirty people had been arrested so far as of Thursday afternoon in connection to the pro-Palestinian protests on the campus of Portland State, according to the Portland Police Bureau. At least seven were PSU students, according to Portland Police.

Stanford sends FBI photo of protester in alleged Hamas-like headband

Friday 3 May 2024 15:45 , Graig Graziosi

Stanford University said it sent a photo of a protester in a green headband to the FBI.

The school issued an update on the state of the school and the ongoing protests on 30 April, and mentioned that a photo circulating on social media of the protester with the green headband had caused some concern.

“We have received many expressions of concern about a photo circulating on social media of an individual on White Plaza who appeared to be wearing a green headband similar to those worn by members of Hamas. We find this deeply disturbing, as Hamas is designated a terrorist organization by the United States government,” the school said in the statement. “We have not been able to identify the individual but have forwarded the photo to the FBI.”

PHOTOS: Portland students face off with police

Friday 3 May 2024 15:30 , Gustaf Kilander

Portland Police chase protesters who re-occupied the Portland State University Library building after it had been cleared and several protesters detained earlier in the day, during the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Portland, Oregon, U.S., May 2, 2024 (REUTERS)Portland Police chase protesters who re-occupied the Portland State University Library building after it had been cleared and several protesters detained earlier in the day, during the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Portland, Oregon, U.S., May 2, 2024 (REUTERS)

Portland Police chase protesters who re-occupied the Portland State University Library building after it had been cleared and several protesters detained earlier in the day, during the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Portland, Oregon, U.S., May 2, 2024 (REUTERS)

Portland Police detain a protester who re-occupied the Portland State University Library building with others after it had been cleared and several protesters were detained earlier in the day, during the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Portland, Oregon, U.S., May 2, 2024 (REUTERS)Portland Police detain a protester who re-occupied the Portland State University Library building with others after it had been cleared and several protesters were detained earlier in the day, during the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Portland, Oregon, U.S., May 2, 2024 (REUTERS)

Portland Police detain a protester who re-occupied the Portland State University Library building with others after it had been cleared and several protesters were detained earlier in the day, during the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Portland, Oregon, U.S., May 2, 2024 (REUTERS)

Portland Police detain a protester who re-occupied the Portland State University Library building with others after it had been cleared and several protesters were detained earlier in the day, during the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Portland, Oregon, U.S., May 2, 2024 (REUTERS)Portland Police detain a protester who re-occupied the Portland State University Library building with others after it had been cleared and several protesters were detained earlier in the day, during the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Portland, Oregon, U.S., May 2, 2024 (REUTERS)

Portland Police detain a protester who re-occupied the Portland State University Library building with others after it had been cleared and several protesters were detained earlier in the day, during the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Portland, Oregon, U.S., May 2, 2024 (REUTERS)

Pro-Palestinian students and activists face police officers after protesters were evicted from the library on campus earlier in the day at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon on May 2, 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)Pro-Palestinian students and activists face police officers after protesters were evicted from the library on campus earlier in the day at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon on May 2, 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)

Pro-Palestinian students and activists face police officers after protesters were evicted from the library on campus earlier in the day at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon on May 2, 2024 (AFP via Getty Images)

Turkey suspends trade with Israel over Gaza war

Friday 3 May 2024 15:00 , Maroosha Muzaffar

Turkey has suspended all trade with Israel because of the “worsening humanitarian tragedy” unfolding in Gaza, the country’s trade ministry said on Thursday.

“Export and import transactions related to Israel have been stopped, covering all products,” the ministry said.

“Turkey will strictly and decisively implement these new measures until the Israeli government allows an uninterrupted and sufficient flow of humanitarian aid to Gaza.”

Trade between Turkey and Israel was worth almost £5.6bn in 2023.

After the restrictions were first reported, Israel’s foreign minister accused Turkey’s president of acting like a “dictator”.

Israel Katz wrote on X that Recep Tayyip Erdogan was “disregarding the interests of the Turkish people and businessmen and ignoring international trade agreements”.

NYPD arrests another 44 protesters Friday morning

Friday 3 May 2024 14:49 , Graig Graziosi

The NYPD announced on Friday that it had arrested 44 people at the New School, a New York private university, after it asked for help dispersing Gaza protesters.

“We gave them options to leave multiple times,” an NYPD spokesperson said, per WABC. “We gave them what the options were in terms of summons desk appearance ticket, and you saw they opted to take the investigators ticket, and what’s disturbing as usual, you can hear the complete anti-Israel hatred live right here.”

Another 13 people were arrested while protesting at New York University.

Donald Trump hands out pizza to New York firefighters as UCLA riots plague city

Friday 3 May 2024 14:30 , Lucy Leeson

Donald Trump delivered pizzas to New York City firefighters as UCLA protests plagued the city.

The former US President met the firefighters on Thursday (2 May) after spending the day in a Manhattan courtroom to witness testimony and cross-examination on criminal charges against him.

Trump has pleaded not guilty to all charges against him.

The 2024 Republican presidential nominee arrived with pizza as he met the same New York City fire department he visited in 2021 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

IN PICTURES: Palestinians thank protesters with signs in Gaza

Friday 3 May 2024 14:00 , Katie Hawkinson

A sign in Gaza that reads, “Thank you, students in solidarity wtih Gaza your message has reached. Thank you students for Coulumbia” pictured on 28 April. More than 100 Gaza protesters were arrested at Columbia this week after they occupied a campus building (AFP via Getty Images)A sign in Gaza that reads, “Thank you, students in solidarity wtih Gaza your message has reached. Thank you students for Coulumbia” pictured on 28 April. More than 100 Gaza protesters were arrested at Columbia this week after they occupied a campus building (AFP via Getty Images)

A sign in Gaza that reads, “Thank you, students in solidarity wtih Gaza your message has reached. Thank you students for Coulumbia” pictured on 28 April. More than 100 Gaza protesters were arrested at Columbia this week after they occupied a campus building (AFP via Getty Images)

A man sits in Rafah in a tent with the message “thank you students for Columbia” painted on the side on 27 April. The New York Police Department has arrested hundreds of protesters at Columbia since their protests began on 17 April (AFP via Getty Images)A man sits in Rafah in a tent with the message “thank you students for Columbia” painted on the side on 27 April. The New York Police Department has arrested hundreds of protesters at Columbia since their protests began on 17 April (AFP via Getty Images)

A man sits in Rafah in a tent with the message “thank you students for Columbia” painted on the side on 27 April. The New York Police Department has arrested hundreds of protesters at Columbia since their protests began on 17 April (AFP via Getty Images)

A sign in Gaza that reads, “Thanks for your solidary! Emory University” pictured on 1 May. Dozens of protesters at Emory University in Georgia have established an encampment on campus (EPA)A sign in Gaza that reads, “Thanks for your solidary! Emory University” pictured on 1 May. Dozens of protesters at Emory University in Georgia have established an encampment on campus (EPA)

A sign in Gaza that reads, “Thanks for your solidary! Emory University” pictured on 1 May. Dozens of protesters at Emory University in Georgia have established an encampment on campus (EPA)

Nearly 2,200 people have been arrested during pro-Palestinian protests on US college campuses

Friday 3 May 2024 13:30 , AP

Police have arrested nearly 2,200 people during pro-Palestinian protests at college campuses across the United States in recent weeks, sometimes using riot gear, tactical vehicles and flash-bang devices to clear tent encampments and occupied buildings. One officer accidentally discharged his gun inside a Columbia University administration building while clearing out protesters camped inside, authorities said.

No one was injured by the officer’s mistake late Tuesday inside Hamilton Hall on the Columbia campus, the NYPD said Thursday. He was trying to use the flashlight attached to his gun at the time and instead fired a single round that struck a frame on the wall.

There were other officers but no students in the immediate vicinity, officials said. Body camera footage shows when the officer’s gun went off, but the district attorney’s office is conducting a review, a standard practice.

ICYMI: Watch as Lauren Boebert is heckled by students after turning up to college Gaza protest

Friday 3 May 2024 13:00 , Katie Hawkinson

Friday 3 May 2024 12:00 , Katie Hawkinson

Biden condemns unrest following Gaza protests after police storm campuses: ‘Violent protest is not protected’

President Biden on Thursday condemned the unrest and violence that has disrupted college campuses over the last week while stressing the importance of Americans’ right to protest peacefully in support of the Palestinian people’s treatment during Israel’s ongoing war against Hamas in Gaza.

Mr Biden, speaking from the East Room of the White House, said peaceful protest is “in the best tradition of how Americans respond to consequential issues” because the US is “not an authoritarian nation where we silence people or squash dissent”.

He said the images of police clashing with protesters put the “fundamental American principles” of free speech and the rule of law “to the test” as he pointed out the importance of maintaining the latter to allow the former.

The Independent’s White House Correspondent Andrew Feinberg has the story:

Biden condemns unrest after Gaza demonstrations: ‘Violent protest is not protected’

ICYMI: US House passes bipartisan antisemitism bill

Friday 3 May 2024 11:00 , Katie Hawkinson

The US House of Representatives passed an antisemitism bill on Wednesday evening as pro-Palestinian campus protests surge across the country.

The bill would create “a clear definition of antisemitism” if passed by the US Senate and signed by the president. In turn, this bill would then allow the US Department of Education to cut funding to schools found tolerating behaviour that falls under the definition.

The bill passed with bipartisan support, 320-91.

Free speech advocates, however, oppose the bill. The American Civil Liberties Union argues the bill “would likely chill free speech of students on college campuses by incorrectly equating criticism of the Israeli government with antisemitism.”

PEN America, a non-profit that advocates for free expression, also condemned the bill, noting that it would adopt the definition of antisemitism as laid out by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

“This definition, and its illustrative examples, is overbroad; its enshrinement into law could lead to significant impairment of academic freedom, free speech and legitimate political expression,” the organisation wrote this week.

“Codifying the IHRA definition, which was never intended to be legally binding or otherwise codified into law, is not the right way to attack antisemitic speech and bigotry,” the organisation continued. “Its vague nature is ill-suited to serve as a legal standard, much less form a basis for punitive action.”

Representative Michael Lawler, a Republican from New York who sponsored the bill, said enshrining the IHRA definition in law will instead protect Jewish students on college campuses.

“By requiring the Department of Education to adopt the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism and its contemporary examples, the Antisemitism Awareness Act gives teeth to federal anti-discrimination laws to go after those who attack their Jewish peers,” Mr Lawler said. “Politics should never get in the way of the safety of students. The strong bipartisan support for and passage of this legislation will ensure that it won’t.”

ICYMI: UN human rights chief ‘troubled’ by treatment of Gaza protesters at US universities

Friday 3 May 2024 09:00 , Katie Hawkinson

UN human rights chief ‘troubled’ by treatment of Gaza protesters at US universities

A retired teacher saw inspiration in Columbia’s protests. Eric Adams called her an outside agitator

Friday 3 May 2024 07:00 , Katie Hawkinson

Before police officers poured into Columbia University on Tuesday night, arresting more than 100 people as they cleared an occupied school building and tent encampment, New York City Mayor Eric Adams received a piece of intelligence he said shifted his thinking about the campus demonstrations over the war in Gaza.

“Outside agitators” working to “radicalize our children” were leading students into more extreme tactics, the mayor claimed. And one of them, Adams said repeatedly in media appearances Wednesday morning, was a woman whose husband was “convicted for terrorism.”

But the woman referenced by the mayor wasn’t on Columbia’s campus this week, isn’t among the protesters who were arrested and has not been accused of any crime.

Read more:

A retired teacher saw inspiration in Columbia’s protests. Eric Adams called her an outside agitator

VIDEO: NYPD tear down tents inside Fordham University to disperse Gaza protesters

Friday 3 May 2024 05:01 , Katie Hawkinson

NYPD tear down tents inside Fordham University to disperse Gaza protesters

ICYMI: Human Rights Watch weighs in on response to protests

Friday 3 May 2024 04:00 , Katie Hawkinson

The Human Rights Watch, a non-governmental organisation that advocates for human rights, weighed in on the pro-Palestinian protests popping up across the country.

Louis Charbonneau, United Nations Director for the organisation, wrote that colleges must protect students’ right to protest.

“There have been troubling reports of antisemitic incidents in and around Columbia University’s campus,” Mr Charbonneau wrote. “Allegations of antisemitic acts and speech by individuals, as well as acts of Islamophobia and other forms of discrimination, should be investigated and addressed on the merits in a case-by-case basis, through fair and transparent processes.”

“As protests spread to campuses across the country, university administrations should be careful not to mislabel criticism of Israeli government policies or advocacy for Palestinian rights as inherently antisemitic or to misuse university authority to quash peaceful protest,” he continued. “Instead, universities should safeguard people’s rights to assembly and free expression.”

ICYMI: Coalition of Columbia faculty call for vote of no confidence in administrators

Friday 3 May 2024 03:00 , Katie Hawkinson

The Columbia University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors is calling for a vote of no confidence in President Minouche Shafik and her fellow administrators.

In a statement, the chapter condemned her decision to call the New York Police Department on protesters who had occupied Hamilton Hall Tuesday night.

“This decision was made without consultation with the University Senate, in violation of established procedures, by recourse to so-called emergency powers,” the chapter said in a Thursday statement. “It also flew in the face of efforts by the AAUP and faculty trusted by the student protestors to de-escalate the situation on campus and to serve as observers in negotiations–efforts endorsed by the University Senate chair that continued into the afternoon before the assault.”

More than 100 people were arrested on Columbia’s campus Tuesday evening.

Police officer clearing protesters from Columbia Univ. building fired gun, prosecutors say

Friday 3 May 2024 02:39 , Louise Boyle

A police officer who was involved in clearing protesters from a Columbia University administration building earlier this week fired his gun inside the hall, a spokesperson for District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office confirmed Thursday.

No one was injured, according to spokesperson Doug Cohen, who said there were other officers but no students in the immediate vicinity. He said Bragg’s office is conducting a review.

He did not provide additional details on the incident, which was first reported by news outlet The City.

The New York Police Department did not immediately respond to The Associated Press’ request for comment.

AP

Pulitzer Prize board praises student journalist efforts at Columbia

Friday 3 May 2024 02:00 , Katie Hawkinson

The Pulitzer Prize Board, housed under Columbia University, praised student journalists’ efforts to cover the protests even while facing “risk of arrest.”

“As we gather to consider the nation’s finest and most courageous journalism, the Pulitzer Prize Board would like to recognize the tireless efforts of student journalists across our nation’s college campuses, who are covering protests and unrest in the face of great personal and academic risk,” the board wrote on Thursday, four days ahead of announcing the 2024 prize winners.

“We would also like to acknowledge the extraordinary real-time reporting of student journalists at Columbia University, where the Pulitzer Prizes are housed, as the New York Police Department was called onto campus on Tuesday night,” they continued.

As The Independent’s Alex Woodward reported, student journalists worked round the clock to capture the historic demonstrations on college campuses across the country.

Read more:

Columbia student journalists broadcast NYPD college raid to the world from the inside

WATCH: Biden insists ‘order must prevail’ as police shut down college Gaza protests

Friday 3 May 2024 01:00 , Katie Hawkinson

ICYMI: Officers arrest 90 at Dartmouth College

Friday 3 May 2024 00:00 , Katie Hawkinson

Hanover, New Hampshire police officers arrested some 90 Gaza demonstrators at Dartmouth College overnight Wednesday into Thursday.

Those arrested included students and non-students, the police department said.

ICYMI: Pro-Palestine and Pro-Israel supporters chant ‘F*** Joe Biden’

Thursday 2 May 2024 23:00 , Katie Hawkinson

WATCH: NYPD tear down tents inside Fordham University to disperse Gaza protesters

Thursday 2 May 2024 22:04 , Katie Hawkinson

SEE IT: Palestinians thank protesters with signs in Gaza

Thursday 2 May 2024 21:36 , Katie Hawkinson

A sign in Gaza that reads, “Thank you, students in solidarity wtih Gaza your message has reached. Thank you students for Coulumbia” pictured on 28 April. More than 100 Gaza protesters were arrested at Columbia this week after they occupied a campus building (AFP via Getty Images)A sign in Gaza that reads, “Thank you, students in solidarity wtih Gaza your message has reached. Thank you students for Coulumbia” pictured on 28 April. More than 100 Gaza protesters were arrested at Columbia this week after they occupied a campus building (AFP via Getty Images)

A sign in Gaza that reads, “Thank you, students in solidarity wtih Gaza your message has reached. Thank you students for Coulumbia” pictured on 28 April. More than 100 Gaza protesters were arrested at Columbia this week after they occupied a campus building (AFP via Getty Images)

A sign in Gaza that reads, “Thanks for your solidary! Emory University” pictured on 1 May. Dozens of protesters at Emory University in Georgia have established an encampment on campus (EPA)A sign in Gaza that reads, “Thanks for your solidary! Emory University” pictured on 1 May. Dozens of protesters at Emory University in Georgia have established an encampment on campus (EPA)

A sign in Gaza that reads, “Thanks for your solidary! Emory University” pictured on 1 May. Dozens of protesters at Emory University in Georgia have established an encampment on campus (EPA)

ICYMI: Lauren Boebert heckled by students after turning up to college Gaza protest

Thursday 2 May 2024 21:01 , Katie Hawkinson

ICYMI: US House passes bipartisan antisemitism bill

Thursday 2 May 2024 20:30 , Katie Hawkinson

The US House of Representatives passed an antisemitism bill on Wednesday evening as pro-Palestinian campus protests surge across the country.

The bill would create “a clear definition of antisemitism” if passed by the US Senate and signed by the president. In turn, this bill would then allow the US Department of Education to cut funding to schools found tolerating behaviour that falls under the definition.

The bill passed with bipartisan support, 320-91.

Free speech advocates, however, oppose the bill. The American Civil Liberties Union argues the bill “would likely chill free speech of students on college campuses by incorrectly equating criticism of the Israeli government with antisemitism.”

PEN America, a non-profit that advocates for free expression, also condemned the bill, noting that it would adopt the definition of antisemitism as laid out by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

“This definition, and its illustrative examples, is overbroad; its enshrinement into law could lead to significant impairment of academic freedom, free speech and legitimate political expression,” the organisation wrote this week.

“Codifying the IHRA definition, which was never intended to be legally binding or otherwise codified into law, is not the right way to attack antisemitic speech and bigotry,” the organisation continued. “Its vague nature is ill-suited to serve as a legal standard, much less form a basis for punitive action.”

Representative Michael Lawler, a Republican from New York who sponsored the bill, said enshrining the IHRA definition in law will instead protect Jewish students on college campuses.

“By requiring the Department of Education to adopt the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism and its contemporary examples, the Antisemitism Awareness Act gives teeth to federal anti-discrimination laws to go after those who attack their Jewish peers,” Mr Lawler said. “Politics should never get in the way of the safety of students. The strong bipartisan support for and passage of this legislation will ensure that it won’t.”

Pulitzer Prize board praises student journalist efforts at Columbia

Thursday 2 May 2024 20:00 , Katie Hawkinson

The Pulitzer Prize Board, housed under Columbia University, praised student journalists’ efforts to cover the protests even while facing “risk of arrest.”

“As we gather to consider the nation’s finest and most courageous journalism, the Pulitzer Prize Board would like to recognize the tireless efforts of student journalists across our nation’s college campuses, who are covering protests and unrest in the face of great personal and academic risk,” the board wrote on Thursday, four days ahead of announcing the 2024 prize winners.

“We would also like to acknowledge the extraordinary real-time reporting of student journalists at Columbia University, where the Pulitzer Prizes are housed, as the New York Police Department was called onto campus on Tuesday night,” they continued.

As The Independent’s Alex Woodward reported, student journalists worked round the clock to capture the historic demonstrations on college campuses across the country.

Read more:

Columbia student journalists broadcast NYPD college raid to the world from the inside

University of Minnesota strikes deal with Gaza protesters

Thursday 2 May 2024 19:48 , Katie Hawkinson

Gaza protesters at the University of Minnesota have agreed to take down their four-day encampment after administrators agreed to discuss their demands, USA Today reports.

The protesters are asking the university to bar companies with ties to Israel from campus events and job fairs. Interim University President Jeff Ettinger said he is also recommending campus police do not press any charges against protesters.

WATCH: Biden insists ‘order must prevail’ as police shut down college Gaza protests

Thursday 2 May 2024 19:30 , Katie Hawkinson

Officers arrest 90 at Dartmouth College

Thursday 2 May 2024 19:00 , Katie Hawkinson

Hanover, New Hampshire police officers arrested some 90 Gaza demonstrators at Dartmouth College overnight Wednesday into Thursday.

Those arrested included students and non-students, the police department said.

Biden condemns unrest following Gaza protests after police storm campuses: ‘Violent protest is not protected’

Thursday 2 May 2024 18:30 , Katie Hawkinson

President Biden on Thursday condemned the unrest and violence that has disrupted college campuses over the last week while stressing the importance of Americans’ right to protest peacefully in support of the Palestinian people’s treatment during Israel’s ongoing war against Hamas in Gaza.

Mr Biden, speaking from the East Room of the White House, said peaceful protest is “in the best tradition of how Americans respond to consequential issues” because the US is “not an authoritarian nation where we silence people or squash dissent”.

He said the images of police clashing with protesters put the “fundamental American principles” of free speech and the rule of law “to the test” as he pointed out the importance of maintaining the latter to allow the former.

Read more from The Independent’s White House Correspondent Andrew Feinberg:

Biden condemns unrest after Gaza demonstrations: ‘Violent protest is not protected’

VIDEO: Stun grenades used on UCLA protesters as police order Gaza encampments to disperse

Thursday 2 May 2024 18:00 , Katie Hawkinson

Stun grenades used on UCLA protesters as police order Gaza encampments to disperse

NYPD tear down tents inside Fordham University to disperse Gaza protesters

Thursday 2 May 2024 17:30 , Katie Hawkinson

NYPD tear down tents inside Fordham University to disperse Gaza protesters

Coalition of Columbia faculty call for vote of no confidence in administrators

Thursday 2 May 2024 17:01 , Katie Hawkinson

The Columbia University Chapter of the American Association of University Professors is calling for a vote of no confidence in President Minouche Shafik and her fellow administrators.

In a statement, the chapter condemned her decision to call the New York Police Department on protesters who had occupied Hamilton Hall Tuesday night.

“This decision was made without consultation with the University Senate, in violation of established procedures, by recourse to so-called emergency powers,” the chapter said in a Thursday statement. “It also flew in the face of efforts by the AAUP and faculty trusted by the student protestors to de-escalate the situation on campus and to serve as observers in negotiations–efforts endorsed by the University Senate chair that continued into the afternoon before the assault.”

More than 100 people were arrested on Columbia’s campus Tuesday evening.

A retired teacher saw inspiration in Columbia’s protests. Eric Adams called her an outside agitator

Thursday 2 May 2024 16:30 , Katie Hawkinson

Read more:

A retired teacher saw inspiration in Columbia’s protests. Eric Adams called her an outside agitator

President Joe Biden condemns violent campus protests

Thursday 2 May 2024 16:13 , Katie Hawkinson

“Vandalism, trespassing, breaking windows shutting down campuses, forcing the cancellation of classes and graduations, none of this is a peaceful protest,” President Joe Biden said on Thursday afternoon.

“Dissent is essential to democracy, but dissent must never lead to disorder, or to denying the rights of others so students can finish the semester and their college education,” he continued.

“I understand people have strong feelings and deep convictions in America. We respect the right and protect the right for them to express that. But it doesn’t mean anything goes. It needs to be done without violence without distraction, without hating and within the law.”

Reporters shouted questions at the president as he left, with one asking if he believes the National Guard should be deployed to campuses with protests. Mr Biden answered “no” as he walked away from the podium.

President Joe Biden, pictured speaking on 2 May, condemned violent protests on college campuses (AP)President Joe Biden, pictured speaking on 2 May, condemned violent protests on college campuses (AP)

President Joe Biden, pictured speaking on 2 May, condemned violent protests on college campuses (AP)

Watch live: Joe Biden speaks amid pressure to address college Gaza protests

Thursday 2 May 2024 16:09 , Katie Hawkinson

Watch live: Joe Biden speaks amid pressure to address college Gaza protests

WATCH: Representative Lauren Boebert heckled by students after turning up to college Gaza protest

Thursday 2 May 2024 16:00 , Katie Hawkinson

Far-right Republican calls antisemitism bill ‘ridiculous’

Thursday 2 May 2024 15:30 , Katie Hawkinson

Representative Matt Gaetz, a far-right Republican from Florida, called the antisemitism bill that passed the House on Wednesday a “ridiculous hate speech bill.”

However, unlike many critics, Mr Gaetz did not raise concerns about free speech. Rather, he is concerned about the Biblical implications of the legislation.

“Antisemitism is wrong, but this legislation is written without regard for the Constitution, common sense, or even the common understanding of the meaning of words,” Mr Gaetz wrote on X. “The Gospel itself would meet the definition of antisemitism under the terms of this bill!”

“The bill says the definition of antisemitism includes ‘contemporary examples of antisemitism’ identified by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA),” he continued. “One of those examples includes: “…claims of Jews killing Jesus…” The Bible is clear. There is no myth or controversy on this. Therefore, I will not support this bill.”

US House passes bipartisan antisemitism bill

Thursday 2 May 2024 15:00 , Katie Hawkinson

The US House of Representatives passed an antisemitism bill on Wednesday evening as pro-Palestinian campus protests surge across the country.

The bill would create “a clear definition of antisemitism” if passed by the US Senate and signed by the president. In turn, this bill would then allow the US Department of Education to cut funding to schools found tolerating behaviour that falls under the definition.

The bill passed with bipartisan support, 320-91.

Free speech advocates, however, oppose the bill. The American Civil Liberties Union argues the bill “would likely chill free speech of students on college campuses by incorrectly equating criticism of the Israeli government with antisemitism.”

PEN America, a non-profit that advocates for free expression, also condemned the bill, noting that it would adopt the definition of antisemitism as laid out by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).

“This definition, and its illustrative examples, is overbroad; its enshrinement into law could lead to significant impairment of academic freedom, free speech and legitimate political expression,” the organisation wrote this week.

“Codifying the IHRA definition, which was never intended to be legally binding or otherwise codified into law, is not the right way to attack antisemitic speech and bigotry,” the organisation continued. “Its vague nature is ill-suited to serve as a legal standard, much less form a basis for punitive action.”

Representative Michael Lawler, a Republican from New York who sponsored the bill, said enshrining the IHRA definition in law will instead protect Jewish students on college campuses.

“By requiring the Department of Education to adopt the IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism and its contemporary examples, the Antisemitism Awareness Act gives teeth to federal anti-discrimination laws to go after those who attack their Jewish peers,” Mr Lawler said. “Politics should never get in the way of the safety of students. The strong bipartisan support for and passage of this legislation will ensure that it won’t.”

ICYMI: UN human rights chief ‘troubled’ by treatment of Gaza protesters at US universities

Thursday 2 May 2024 14:30 , Katie Hawkinson

UN human rights chief ‘troubled’ by treatment of Gaza protesters at US universities

Human Rights Watch weighs in on response to protests

Thursday 2 May 2024 14:00 , Katie Hawkinson

The Human Rights Watch, a non-governmental organisation that advocates for human rights, weighed in on the pro-Palestinian protests popping up across the country.

Louis Charbonneau, United Nations Director for the organisation, wrote that colleges must protect students’ right to protest.

“There have been troubling reports of antisemitic incidents in and around Columbia University’s campus,” Mr Charbonneau wrote. “Allegations of antisemitic acts and speech by individuals, as well as acts of Islamophobia and other forms of discrimination, should be investigated and addressed on the merits in a case-by-case basis, through fair and transparent processes.”

“As protests spread to campuses across the country, university administrations should be careful not to mislabel criticism of Israeli government policies or advocacy for Palestinian rights as inherently antisemitic or to misuse university authority to quash peaceful protest,” he continued. “Instead, universities should safeguard people’s rights to assembly and free expression.”

Watch live: Police enter pro-Palestine UCLA encampment after students refuse to disperse

Thursday 2 May 2024 13:54

Watch: Police enter pro-Palestine UCLA encampment after students refuse to disperse

Pictures: Police in riot gear clear UCLA encampment

Thursday 2 May 2024 13:10

 (EPA) (EPA)

(EPA)

Law enforcement officers detain a protester at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) (REUTERS)Law enforcement officers detain a protester at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) (REUTERS)

Law enforcement officers detain a protester at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) (REUTERS)

 (REUTERS) (REUTERS)

(REUTERS)

Police clear UCLA encampment and arrest demonstrators refusing to disperse

Thursday 2 May 2024 13:07

Hundreds of helmeted police muscled their way into a central plaza of the University of California at Los Angeles early on Thursday to dismantle a pro-Palestinian protest camp attacked the previous night by pro-Israel supporters.

Live TV footage showed about six protesters under arrest, kneeling on the ground, their hands bound behind their backs with zip-ties.

Dozens of loud explosions were heard during the clash from flash-bang charges, or stun grenades, fired by police.

Demonstrators, some carrying makeshift shields and umbrellas, sought to block the officers’ advance by their sheer numbers, while shouting, “push them back” and flashing bright lights in the eyes of the police. Others on the opposite side of the camp gave up quickly, and were seen walking away with their hands over their heads under police escort.

Around sunset on Wednesday, officers in tactical gear had begun filing onto the UCLA campus and taking up positions adjacent to a complex of tents occupied by throngs of demonstrators, live footage from the scene showed.

The assembled police stood by on the periphery for hours before finally starting to force their way into the encampment around 3:15 a.m. PDT, tearing down barricades and arresting occupants who refused to leave.

 (AFP via Getty Images) (AFP via Getty Images)

(AFP via Getty Images)

WATCH: Displaced people in Gaza praise pro-Palestinian campus protests in US

Thursday 2 May 2024 13:00 , Katie Hawkinson

Displaced Palestinians in Gaza have expressed their gratitude for pro-Palestinian campus protests in the US, the Associated Press reports.

The ongoing Israeli offensive in Gaza has killed more than 34,000 people, many of them women and children, and aid blockages have resulted in a famine in northern Gaza. The attacks come after 7 October, when Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel, killing some 1,200 people and taking another 250 people hostage.

Dozens of protesters arrested as NYPD storm Columbia campus to crush pro-Gaza protest

Thursday 2 May 2024 11:30 , Alexander Butler

Dozens of protesters arrested as NYPD storm Columbia campus

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez condemns campus crackdowns

Thursday 2 May 2024 11:00 , Katie Hawkinson

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a progressive Democrat from New York, told The Independent’s Eric Garcia she is concerned about setting a dangerous precedent regarding the use of force against protesters.

“We are concerned about setting a very dangerous precedent of introducing violent forms of enforcement on those demonstrations that, on the whole, are truly peaceful,” Ms Ocasio-Cortez said on Wednesday.

How Columbia University became the driving force behind protests over the war in Gaza

Thursday 2 May 2024 10:45 , Alexander Butler

How Columbia University became the driving force behind protests over the war in Gaza

Graduating seniors blame USC for ruining end of college with ‘military’ crackdown

Thursday 2 May 2024 10:30 , Alexander Butler

Seniors say ‘military’ crackdown on USC pro-Palestine protests has ruined final weeks

Pro-Palestine and Pro-Israel supporters chant ‘F*** Joe Biden’

Thursday 2 May 2024 10:15 , Alexander Butler

UN human rights chief ‘troubled’ by treatment of Gaza protesters at US universities

Thursday 2 May 2024 10:00 , Alexander Butler

UN human rights chief ‘troubled’ by treatment of Gaza protesters at US universities

Bernie Sanders says media shouldn’t lose focus of underlying Israel-Hamas war

Thursday 2 May 2024 09:45 , Josh Marcus

Stories about campus unrest have captured the attention of newsrooms across the US, but US Senator Bernie Sanders called on media members not to stop covering the underlying Israel-Hamas war, or inquiring about the overwhelmingly Palestinian civilian death toll.

“I suggest to CNN and maybe some of my colleagues here, maybe take your cameras, just for a moment, off of Columbia and UCLA ,” the Vermont senator said in a floor speech. “Maybe go to Gaza, and take your camera show us the emaciated children who are dying from malnutrition because of Netanyahu’s policies.”

Students occupy UK University campuses in protest against Gaza war

Thursday 2 May 2024 09:28 , Namita Singh

Pro-Palestinian students have gathered in protest at universities across the UK following violent demonstrations at campuses in the US.

Students in Leeds, Newcastle and Bristol set up tents outside university buildings on Wednesday in protest against the war in Gaza.

Bristol students said they staged the action “in protest of the university’s complicity in Israel’s genocide of Palestinians”, while Apartheid Off Campus Newcastle said its demonstration was to “highlight the institution’s investment strategy and its complicity in the Israeli military’s war crimes in Gaza and the West Bank”.

Report:

Students occupy UK university campuses in protest against Gaza war