Hundreds of riot police storm university after stand-off with protesters

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Dozens of protestors have been arrested after Columbia University called in the New York Police Department to end the pro-Palestinian occupation on campus.

Police said the university’s Hamilton Hall – which protestors renamed ‘Hind Hall’ in honour of a killed Palestinian girl – was cleared of protesters who took over building on Tuesday.

The scene unfolded shortly after 9pm yesterday evening as police, wearing helmets and carrying zip ties and riot shields, gathered at the Ivy League university’s entrance.

The demonstrators had occupied Hamilton Hall more than 12 hours earlier, after a weeks-long encampment on campus nearby.

A statement released by a Columbia spokesperson late on Tuesday said officers arrived on campus after the university requested help – hours after the NYPD said officers would not enter the university campus without university request or an imminent emergency.

The statement read: ‘After the university learned overnight that Hamilton Hall had been occupied, vandalised, and blockaded, we were left with no choice.’

Dozens of protestors were taken into custody (Picture: X)

Students at the City College of New York were dragged away hours later (Picture: Getty)

Police used a ramp to enter the building (Picture: EPA)

Cameron Jones, a sophomore at Columbia, was barricaded inside nearby John Jay Hall and witnessed protestors outside of Hamilton Hall be dragged away ‘violently and aggressively’.

Jones, a member of student group Jewish Voice for Peace, told the Washington Post: ‘I know the majority of the students who were occupying Hamilton Hall. They are fellow students. They are not ‘outside agitators.’

‘It’s unfortunate that the university and mayor’s office spread misinformation about what is actually going on.’

Hours after arresting Columbia University protestors, police moved to clear an encampment at the City College of New York.

More than 1,000 protesters have been arrested over the last two weeks on university campuses in Texas, Utah, Virginia, North Carolina, New Mexico, Connecticut, Louisiana, California and New Jersey.

The White House condemned the standoffs at Columbia on Tuesday and California State Polytechnic University Humboldt earlier in the week.

Other universities have sought to negotiate agreements with the demonstrators in the hopes of having peaceful commencement ceremonies.

The nationwide campus protests began at Columbia in response to Israel’s offensive in Gaza after Hamas attacked southern Israel on October 7.

Demonstrations have erupted across the country, and abroad, as university students begin to protest (Picture: AP/

Police at the University of Texas pepper sprayed and arrested demonstrators en masse (Picture: AFP)

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Militants killed about 1,200 people, most of them civilians, and took roughly 250 hostages.

In return, Israel has killed more than 34,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, according to the local health ministry.

The reasons behind the protest vary slightly, but overall agree that the US should end military support to Israel.

Some university students, such as those at Columbia, are demanding their schools sever any financial ties to Israel and other companies involved directly in the conflict.

Mass arrests have led to calls for amnesty of students and faculty who are disciplined for their involvement in the protests.

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