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Sparks from Columbia Spread to Campuses in the U.S. … and the World

Columbia University students encampment for Palestine, April 15, 2024.


Columbia University students encampment for Palestine, April 15, 2024.    Photo: Special to

As word spread on Thursday, April 18, of the police/university attack on Columbia protesters, students from at least 13 colleges and universities around the U.S. and the world responded with outrage and inspiration. Hundreds of students at Yale University in New Haven marched; when warned by university officials to disperse they ignored them, forming a solidarity encampment outside the Board of Trustees meeting. Students at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill also rallied and set up a solidarity encampment in defiance of threats from administrators. 

Student walkouts and/or rallies and marches also took place at Harvard University (200 people), MIT and Boston University in Boston; at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, (where over 60 protesters have been arrested at past actions), Miami University at Oxford, Ohio (30 people), at Ohio State University in Columbus, at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, at Temple University in Philadelphia, at Princeton University in New Jersey, and at City University of New York (CUNY). A solidarity rally is also planned for Monday at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Activists at Bard campuses in East Jerusalem (Palestine), Berlin (Germany) and New York and Massachusetts jointly declared: “We stand with our allies at the Gaza Solidarity Encampment who are enduring a triad of aggression: from Zionists on-campus, from the university administration, and from the NYPD who have stormed the ‘free speech zone’ where student encampments are located.”

From Melbourne, Australia came this: “From the other side of the world, we University of Melbourne For Palestine UM4P, express our full and unwavering solidarity with the brave actions of Columbia’s Students For Justice in Palestine SJP.… we join the global chant ‘disclose, divest! We will not stop, we will not rest!’”

And environmental activists in Columbus declared: “Ohio Youth for Climate Justice remains firm in our stance against the same capitalist institutions that oppress Palestinians and create unlivable conditions throughout the planet. The bravery of Columbia students has sent ripples across the country, and has deeply strengthened the movement towards Palestinian freedom. This rippling effect has been and will continue to be felt at Ohio State until we see a free Palestine.”

All this points to the truth of a statement by a young woman arrested at Columbia on Thursday: “I believe there was a spark today that’s going to spread across Columbia, across campuses in the U.S…. Columbia has no idea what they have unleashed.”

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