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Columbia University Descends into Mayhem

“They held me hostage.”

Protesting students at Columbia University have escalated their “occupation” of the campus by taking over buildings and barricading themselves inside. Early Tuesday morning, April 30, the students broke into Hamilton Hall and began to fortify their position. According to a student newspaper, Columbia Spectator, protestors began “moving metal gates to barricade the doors, blocking entrances with wooden tables and chairs, and zip-tying doors shut.”

The move to take over the building came as the deadline given by the university for protestors to disperse came and went. The students were warned that unless they removed their tents by 2 PM on Monday, April 29, they would face suspension proceedings. The students, however, were making demands of their own.

As Fox News relates, the students are insisting that the university:

“[D]ivest their financial support of Israel, become more transparent with the university’s investments and provide blanket amnesty to students who have taken part in the disruptive, weeks-long demonstration.”

Several Hamilton Hall workers were trapped inside, with one yelling to be released. After he was permitted to depart, he said that he had been “held hostage.” Three other workers were later freed. “This building has now been liberated,” Columbia University Apartheid Divest (CUAD), the group behind the encampment, posted on its social media account.

Access to the campus has been limited by university authorities until the matter is resolved. “This access restriction will remain in place until circumstances allow otherwise,” an announcement said. “The safety of every single member of this community is paramount. We thank you for your patience, cooperation and understanding.”

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