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Over 100 Students, Including Ilhan Omar’s Daughter, Arrested for Unauthorized Pro-Palestinian Encampment at Columbia University

Over 100 individuals, including a U.S. representative’s daughter, were arrested for trespassing during a pro-Palestinian encampment at Columbia University. 

The event highlighted ongoing tensions regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in academic settings.

New York City police intervened at Columbia University, arresting 108 protesters who had set up an encampment on the university’s South Lawn to show solidarity with Gaza. 

The protesters, including Ilhan Omar’s daughter, Isra Hirsi, faced charges mainly for trespassing.

The demonstration lasted over 30 hours, during which participants occupied a significant area of the campus. 

Credits: DepositPhotos

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The university administration requested police assistance after the protesters refused to disperse voluntarily.

Mayor Eric Adams emphasized the importance of upholding university policies and the rule of law, despite acknowledging the university’s history of student activism. 

His administration stressed that such protests must not violate legal or institutional boundaries.

He added, “We will not be a city of lawlessness.”

Isra Hirsi, a student at Barnard College and daughter of Rep. Ilhan Omar, was among those suspended for participating in the protest. 

Credits: DepositPhotos

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Hirsi took to social media to express her commitment to the cause, despite the disciplinary actions she faced.

Columbia University President Nemat “Minouche” Shafik expressed concern for campus safety in her decision to clear the encampment, labeling the demonstration as a severe disruption to the university’s operations.

The university claimed that the protesters were not only trespassing but also causing property damage and other violations, which led to the decision to involve law enforcement to restore order.

While the 108 arrested were protesting peacefully, others surrounded the area, shouting slogans calling the authorities “KKK” and shouting “shame on you.”

The student group, Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine, held a press conference condemning the administration’s actions, describing them as violent suppression of political expression. 

Credits: DepositPhotos

They voiced concerns about the treatment of Arab, Muslim, and pro-Palestinian students on campus.

The incident at Columbia University is part of a larger national conversation about free speech and the rights of students to engage in political protests on college campuses, particularly concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The events at Columbia have sparked discussions about the balance between maintaining safety and upholding the right to free expression in academic environments. 

The university community and observers continue to watch how these tensions will unfold in the future.

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