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Officials call for investigation into UCLA violence; Columbia goes remote for rest of semester

Law enforcement ordered protesters to disperse from UCLA's campus on Wednesday night, but large crowds were still present.

Coverage on this live blog has ended. Follow live updates here.

What to know about campus protests:

  • There were violent clashes between the pro-Palestinian encampment and counterprotesters at UCLA overnight. The university canceled all classes today, and officials have called for an investigation into what happened.
  • Police said 173 people were arrested at City College of New York and 109 at Columbia University last night — for a total of 282 arrests — after special police units breached the occupied Hamilton Hall at Columbia. Some of the people were being arraigned tonight.
  • All academic activities, including finals, for schools on Columbia's Morningside Heights campus will be fully remote for the rest of the semester, the school said this afternoon.
  • New York Mayor Eric Adams said in a briefing this morning that while some students were involved in the occupation of Hamilton Hall, they were "led by individuals not affiliated with the university."

Counterprotesters threw fireworks, tear gas at encampment, UCLA student says

NBC News

Dylan Winward, a UCLA student journalist, detailed the moment he said counterprotesters threw fireworks and tear gas at the pro-Palestinian encampment on campus yesterday. Winward said counterprotesters did “not appear to be student-led.” 

USC reopens gates after protesters leave

The University of Southern California in Los Angeles said protesters have left an intersection near its campus and it is reopening gates.

The university in the University Park section of the city had warned that protesters might show up, and they did demonstrate at an adjacent intersection.

Large crowd still seen at UCLA after order to disperse

A large crowd of people could still be seen at the UCLA campus in Los Angeles tonight, hours after news crews heard police orders to disperse, helicopter video showed.

There have been no reports of arrests on the campus, where there also was a pro-Palestinian protest encampment some distance away.

Police were seen on campus. The Daily Bruin student newspaper reported some police were in riot gear.

Last night, there was violence at the protest after what the UCLA chancellor described as an attack on pro-Palestinian protests by a band of instigators.

USC closes gates, says protesters are outside

The University of Southern California has temporarily closed its entrances, and it said tonight that “demonstrators unaffiliated with USC” were protesting at an adjacent intersection.

The university said at around 7:30 p.m. local time that entrances to the University Park campus would be temporarily closed and warned protesters might come by there later.

“The campus is open to students, staff, faculty and registered guests,” USC said.

USC canceled its main commencement ceremony, scheduled for May 10, over protests on the campus, the war in Gaza and its decision to cancel a Muslim valedictorian's speech over security concerns.

Five more protesters arraigned in New York

Five more protesters have been arraigned in court tonight, all of whom were arrested in Columbia's Hamilton Hall last night.

At least four were charged with misdemeanor trespassing. The judge did not say whether any were students.

Officials broke up University of Wisconsin-Madison encampment with ‘violence,’ student journalist says

NBC News

University of Wisconsin-Madison student Annika Bereny, a reporter for the student publication The Daily Cardinal, detailed “violence from law enforcement” officials who were responding to a pro-Palestinian encampment on campus.

Messages supporting Gaza, criticizing Columbia projected onto Hamilton Hall

Isa Farfan

Messages echoing many of the demands of pro-Palestinian protesters were projected onto Hamilton Hall tonight.

israel hamas conflict columbia university hamilton hall message projection
Protesters project a message reading "Israel Bombs Columbia Pays" on Columbia University's Hamilton Hall on Wednesday.Courtesy Isa Farfan

The projector, located in the street just off campus, displayed phrases such as "strike for Gaza," "divest now" and "students say free Palestine." Other phrases took aim at the university with messages such as "Columbia funds genocide."

Protesters who gathered on the street chanted as officers looked on.

Police went into Hamilton Hall last night and cleared it of protesters who had taken it over.

UCLA authorizes remote teaching after violence at protest

UCLA today said campus would continue to be limited through Friday after violence broke out between groups at a protest on campus last night.

The university canceled classes today and said Royce Hall would remain closed through Friday, and it instructed students to watch for notifications.

Clashes broke out on May 1, 2024 around pro-Palestinian demonstrations at the University of California, Los Angeles, US television media footage showed, as universities around the United States struggle to contain similar protests on dozens of campuses.
A pro-Palestinian demonstrator is beaten by counter protesters on the UCLA campus in Los Angeles early Wednesday.Etienne Laurent / AFP - Getty Images

“Please continue to avoid campus and the Royce Quad area. Per Academic Senate guidance on instruction, all in-person classes are authorized and required to pivot to remote tomorrow and Friday,” UCLA said in a notice.

The notice came as law enforcement had ordered a crowd on the campus to disperse and as police vehicles were seen in the area at what appeared to be a nearby staging area. No arrests have been seen.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass called the violence detestable. She said people launched fireworks and sprayed chemical irritants at other people, as well as assaulted them.

The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California said a group of people with bear spray and weapons descended on the pro-Palestinian protesters and attacked them.

Trump tries to paint campus protests as a Biden political liability


Carol E. LeeCarol E. Lee is the Washington managing editor.

WASHINGTON — Joe Biden’s advisers believe that tensions over U.S. support for Israel in the war in Gaza that are spreading through college campuses will soon flame out and that there is neither a need nor an upside for Biden to weigh in more directly.

For now, Biden is taking a hands-off posture toward the unrest and has no plans to step up his involvement in escalating clashes between police and protesters, White House and campaign advisers said, even as Donald Trump looks to capitalize on the issue.

Biden’s view is that it’s up to university leaders to decide how to cope with campus demonstrations that are emerging as the latest flashpoint in the presidential race, advisers said. In keeping with that approach, he didn’t intervene or publicly object as police swept onto the Columbia University campus last night and arrested about 230 protesters, including about 40 who had seized a building and erected an encampment calling attention to their demand for a cease-fire in Gaza.

Read the full story here.

First court appearances for protesters arrested last night

The first two protesters arrested at New York City college campuses yesterday appeared in Manhattan night court about 24 hours after their apprehension.

Two men were accused of assault on a police officer at City College of New York, and one of the two was also accused of resisting arrest.

Police issue dispersal order at UCLA

NBC News

NBC News crews heard law enforcement officials at UCLA issue a dispersal order.

NBC Los Angeles helicopter video showed a large crowd of people on the campus.

Classes at UCLA were canceled today after violent clashes between protesters against the war in Gaza and counterprotesters, which the university’s president and Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass condemned.

The LAPD said on social media that it responded to UCLA after the violent clashes last night but did not make arrests and that it and other police agencies separated the groups.

“The Los Angeles Police Department, along with other local law-enforcement agencies, will remain in the area to ensure public safety until the situation is resolved,” police said on X around two hours ago.

Columbia journalism dean: ‘There was a real concern’ about what could happen on campus

Even though Columbia’s campus was closed to nonstudents amid turmoil during protests, the far-right founder of the Proud Boys made it onto campus and another group tried to scale the fence and get in, the school’s journalism dean said.

New York Mayor Eric Adams has said outside "agitators" co-opted the protest at Columbia and used what should have been a peaceful demonstration for their own agendas.

Columbia Journalism School Dean Jelani Cobb said on MSNBC that he never heard anyone talk about people being radicalized on any side of the issue in discussions on campus, but he said: "I will say this, though: Toward the point about kind of quote-unquote outside people — here’s why it was significant."

“Gavin McInnes got onto the campus. He got onto the campus when the campus was locked down,” he said. “And, you know, there was the Proud Boy event where they were rallying outside the gates of campus.

“There was a logic that held that if he could get onto the campus as visible and known as he is — then who else has gotten onto the campus?”

In another event outside the Ivy League campus, the Israeli flag a counterprotester was carrying was snatched from his hands and set on fire, and people tried to scale the fence, Cobb said.

“There was a real concern that, like, who are those people? And people capable of behaving like that on the outside, how might they behave if they were on the inside?” he said.

The university asked the NYPD yesterday to clear protesters from the campus and Hamilton Hall, which had been occupied. Police arrested more than 100 people, they said.

“There was a real concern that if someone got hurt, the criticism would have been the opposite — like, why did the university wait so long to do something?” Cobb said on MSNBC.

“And so, I think those are the kinds of calculations that people had to make at the time," he said.

City College says flares and chains found

Administrators say the protesters who broke into a building at City College of New York last night “smashed glass doors, graffitied walls, covered cameras with paint and ransacked the public property.”

Police arrested 173 people at the Manhattan campus after pro-Palestinian demonstrators took over the school’s Administration Building.

“During preliminary cleanup, public safety officers uncovered chains, flares, a bolt cutter and box cutters in three bags left by the protesters in the building,” City University of New York leadership said in a statement. CCNY is part of the CUNY system.

“We have not yet determined the cost of repairs,” the officials said.

The arrests at City College happened the same night the NYPD cleared protesters from Columbia University and made more than 100 arrests there.

Fordham University wants police presence until after graduation

Fordham University today asked New York police to maintain a presence on campus until after graduation following this morning's clearing of an encampment on school grounds.

The university made the request in a letter addressed to Michael Gerber, the deputy police commissioner of legal matters, saying a continued police presence is needed through at least May 22 — four days after the scheduled commencement — “to maintain order and ensure encampments are not reestablished.”

Image: Police Intervene After Fordham University Erects Encampment
A pro-Palestinian student signals from inside a building with an encampment on the Fordham University Lincoln Center campus, in New York City, on Wednesday.Spencer Platt / Getty Images

The letter requested that the NYPD clear an encampment at the school’s Lowenstein Building on its Lincoln Center campus in Manhattan. Kaz Daughtry, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner of operations, said on X that the protesters were removed “without incident” after the school asked police for help to “disperse an unlawful encampment of individuals inside one of their buildings.”

In a statement addressed to the school community, Fordham President Tania Tetlow said that before today, campus protests about the war in Gaza and Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel had been peaceful.

“Today was different. We draw the line at intrusions into a classroom building, especially by people who are not members of our community. (There is a difference between free speech and people barging into your home to shout.),” she wrote.

Daughtry’s X post included a video showing officers removing tents from inside a building as protesters locked arms. A police announcement could be heard, telling protesters that the university had warned them to leave the campus and that if they refused, they would be subject to arrest.

Tetlow said police detained 15 people for misdemeanor trespassing, some of whom are believed to be Fordham students. She said that “hundreds of protesters came from elsewhere” to the Lowenstein Building and that school officials worried they would “rush further into campus."

“We remain eager to engage with our student activists and to have open-hearted conversations. We have found them to be thoughtful and focused on persuasion,” Tetlow said. “But we can only have those conversations when we have secured our campus and made our community feel safe.”

The university earlier told student protesters that they would receive interim suspensions because of “serious violations” of the school’s policies.

17 protesters arrested at UT Dallas

Pro-Palestinian protesters at the University of Texas at Dallas were arrested today after they set up an encampment on the main walkway on campus, the university said.

Arrests were made after the demonstrators refused to leave, a university spokesperson said. As of 5 p.m. CT, 17 people had been arrested on suspicion of criminal trespass, the spokesperson said.

"Individuals may peacefully assemble in the common outdoor areas of campus to exercise their right to free speech, but they may not construct an encampment or block pathways," Kim Horner, the university's communications manager, said in an email.

A university alumnus who graduated 40 years ago told NBC Dallas-Fort Worth he went to the demonstration to see what it was about after having seen it and others on college campuses across the country on the news.

The university told people at an encampment that they cannot block the area and that they had to leave, he told the station as protesters chanted slogans.

“The police came and, you know, stopped at the beginning, gave people a chance to leave,” the man said on air. “And when they didn’t, they came in and began to arrest people.”

‘We are not finished,’ student protester says after Columbia action

A Columbia University student and Gaza war protester condemned what he called a militarized police response to demonstrators on the Manhattan campus, and he and others vowed they would not stop.

“Columbia’s attempt to oppress the movement only strengthens our resolve,” said Cameron Jones, a second-year student at Columbia and an organizer at Jewish Voice for Peace. “We are not finished.”

The NYPD cleared protesters at Columbia, where a building had been occupied, and it also responded to City College of New York, part of the City University of New York system. Police reported 282 arrests in all.

Fatima Mohammed, a CUNY Law alumna and organizer from the group Within Our Lifetime, said they “are protesting to end this genocide,” adding, “We are protesting to call for a dismantling of Zionism, which includes complete divestment.”

Another encampment established at University of Wisconsin-Madison

After police this morning cleared an encampment at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, another one was established during the day, the school said.

News: University of Wisconsin-Madison Pro-Palestine Encampment
Police surround protestors at UW-Madison in Madison, Wisc., on Wednesday.Laura Schulte / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel-USA Today Network

The new tents are located on Liberty Mall, where conditions “remain generally calm, despite the presence of the illegal encampment,” the school said in a 5 p.m. update. Campus operations are normal and events are proceeding as scheduled, but school police officers will “observe the encampment in the interest of public safety.”

The school said 34 protesters were “briefly detained” during this morning’s encampment clearing, and four were booked into the Dane County Jail for acts including battery to police officers.

Columbia says all students at encampments have been suspended

All Columbia University students who remained at a large encampment and two other smaller ones on campus past a Monday deadline have been suspended, a university spokesperson said today.

“At this time, all participants in the encampments are suspended, unauthorized to be on university property, and if found are trespassing,” said Ben Chang, vice president for communications.

“The disciplinary process continues,” he said.

The number of students expelled or who face expulsion for being involved in the seizure and occupation of Hamilton Hall remains unclear, and Chang did not have those numbers this afternoon.

Pro-Palestinian protestors who are occupying Hamilton Hall lift a milk crate with supplies at Columbia University.
Pro-Palestinian protestors at Hamilton Hall lift a milk crate with supplies at Columbia University in New York City, on Tuesday.Michael M. Santiago - Pool / AFP - Getty Images

The university has said any students who occupied that building face expulsion.

The NYPD was asked to intervene and clear protesters from the encampments and Hamilton Hall last night, and did so, making over 100 arrests, officials said.

“These were not peaceful protesters,” Chang said of those who broke in and occupied Hamilton Hall. He said there was “severe damage to that building.”

External review ordered into events at UCLA campus after violent attack on encampment

Erick Mendoza

Doha Madani and Erick Mendoza

University of California officials issued statements today condemning the violence at its Los Angeles campus overnight and an independent, external review has been requested.

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block released a statement noting that a group of protesters came onto campus to "forcefully attack the encampment" and promised a full investigation into the matter. He called the attack "utterly unacceptable" regardless of one's feeling on the anti-war encampment.

Clashes broke out on May 1, 2024 around pro-Palestinian demonstrations at the University of California, Los Angeles, as universities around the United States struggle to contain similar protests on dozens of campuses.
Pro-Palestinian demonstrators engulfed in tear gas regroup and rebuild the barricade surrounding the encampment at the UCLA campus in Los Angeles early Wednesday.Etienne Laurent / AFP - Getty Images

"It has shaken our campus to its core and — adding to other abhorrent incidents that we have witnessed and that have circulated on social media over the past several days — further damaged our community’s sense of security," Block wrote.

Michael V. Drake, president of the university system, released a statement noting that though at least 15 injuries were reported, the situation has been stabilized.

"My office has requested a detailed accounting from the campus about what transpired in the early morning hours today," Drake said. "But some confusion remains, therefore we are also ordering an independent external review of both UCLA’s planning and actions, and the effectiveness of the mutual aid response."

Southern California universities set up encampments

Students at two universities in Southern California have launched protest encampments in solidarity with campuses across the country.

Antiwar protesters at California State University in Los Angeles and at the University of California, San Diego, have set up tents and signs demanding that their colleges divest from Israeli's companies tied to military operations in Gaza.

"Our struggle for Palestinian liberation continues as we now join student encampments across the world demanding that our universities divest billions of from weapons manufacturers and companies that enable and profit from Israel's ongoing genocide, apartheid and occupation of Palestine," Students for Justice in Palestine, or SPJ, at UC San Diego said in a statement posted to social media.

In an emailed statement, SPJ Cal State LA said: "We will continue our encampment until our demands have been met. From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free." 

'Full investigation' needed into UCLA violence, L.A. mayor says

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass is calling for a full investigation into violent attacks on protesters at the UCLA campus last night, where counterprotesters reportedly stormed an encampment.

“There must be a full investigation into what occurred on campus last night," Bass said. "Those involved in launching fireworks at other people, spraying chemicals and physically assaulting others will be found, arrested, and prosecuted, as well as anyone involved in any form of violence or lawlessness."

The Daily Bruin, a student newspaper, reported that a group of counterprotesters stormed the anti-war encampment where protesters were and took down barricades. Counter protesters pepper sprayed people, smashed the finger of one protesters with a wooden slab, and launched fireworks at the encampment, according to reports from the Daily Bruin.

Due to high traffic volume, the student newspaper said its website was down but its posted real-time updates to its X account.

House passes antisemitism bill amid campus arrests

The House has passed a bill aimed at combating antisemitism as pro-Palestinian protests roil colleges across the United States.

The measure passed in a 320-91 vote.

The bill, titled the Antisemitism Awareness Act, would mandate that the Education Department adopt the broad definition of antisemitism used by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, an intergovernmental group, to enforce anti-discrimination laws.

The international group defines antisemitism as a “certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews.” The group adds that “rhetorical and physical manifestations” of antisemitism include such things as calling for the killing or harming of Jews or holding Jews collectively responsible for actions taken by the state of Israel.

The bill’s prospects in the Senate are unclear.

Read the full story here.

UAW president calls for arrested protesters to be released

Shawn Fain, president of the United Auto Workers union, called for the detained protesters to be released following a night of mass arrests.

In a thread on X, Fain said his union would never support the mass arrests of those exercising their rights to speak out against injustice.

"We call on the powers that be to release the students and employees who have been arrested, and if you can’t take the outcry, stop supporting this war," Fain wrote.

The UAW executive board voted to approve a call for a cease-fire in December and some UAW signs were seen at solidarity protests around Columbia University yesterday.

Fordham tells encampment protesters they are suspended

Fordham University told student protesters this afternoon that they would receive an “interim suspension” in light of “serious violations” of the university’s policies.

Protesters at the encampment were distributed fliers directing them to leave Fordham University property immediately. 

The university said it was also immediately suspending students from on-campus housing, classes, final exams and all events, including senior week and commencement. 

“You may not enter Fordham University property for any reason during the period of this interim suspension without permission from my office,” Jenifer Campbell, the dean of students for Fordham University Lincoln Center, and Christopher Rodgers, the dean of students and assistant vice president at Fordham’s Rose Hill campus, said in the statement.

The interim suspension will take effect “between the date of this letter and the final resolution of your case.”

Georgia Republicans reiterate support for forceful police response to campus protests

The Associated Press

Georgia Republicans on Wednesday reiterated their support for a forceful police response to campus protests over the Israel-Hamas war.

Gov. Brian Kemp, before he signed laws related to policing, praised officers for “standing strong and maintaining order in the face of protests and disturbances on our college campuses.”

State troopers have aided local and campus police in breaking up encampments and arresting protesters at Emory University in Atlanta and the University of Georgia in Athens. Emory’s president has since apologized for calling outside officers after police used pepper spray balls, aggressively tackled protesters and used an electrical stun gun to shock at least one protester.

The governor said he supported suspending and expelling student protesters who break laws. “We are not going to allow Georgia to become the next Columbia University,” he said.

Protesters arrested at the University of Georgia were issued interim suspensions and barred from campus without being given a chance to appeal.

State House Speaker Jon Burns, a fellow Republican, praised Kemp for ordering state troopers to not put up with any “foolishness.”

Second gentleman Doug Emhoff says violence, inflammatory language at college protests 'must be stopped'

Second gentleman Doug Emhoff said today that, while he stands in favor of the First Amendment, he doesn’t stand for violent or incendiary language at college protests. 

“When we see these protests, obviously we’re in favor of the First Amendment. We’re in favor of the right to protest. But when that crosses into violence,” and inflammatory language, then it’s “completely unacceptable, and must be stopped.”

While a slew of university protests in support of the Palestinian cause and divestment from Israel have been peaceful and have had demonstrators from a diversity of backgrounds, including Jewish students, there have been skirmishes with police and incidents often with individuals not affiliated with the schools. At times, incendiary language has been made by counterprotesters, one such instance reported at Northeastern University by a GBH news reporter

UConn president addresses students after 25 protesters arrested

Madison Lambert

Doha Madani and Madison Lambert

University of Connecticut President Radenka Maric described it as a "difficult decision" to arrest protesters yesterday on campus where an anti-war demonstration had been set up for six days.

According to the student newspaper, 24 current students and one former student were arrested at the encampment. Maric said the school supports the community's rights to free speech and peaceful assembly, but there are ways to do so that "do not violate University policy or practice."

"Over the course of Sunday night into Monday, individuals who were gathered at the encampment significantly deviated from the guidelines and ignored directives to follow them, including by erecting tents and through the use of amplified sound," Maric said.

Maric stated that the group was given a 30-minute warning to disperse but did not comply, leading to the arrests. One person who was arrested told the student newspaper that the group was very peaceful, and was even told that they were the "best arrestees" when taken to the police station.

"When we put up the tents we didn’t do anything violent," the person said. "We sat in there and stayed silent, and didn’t even fight the police. The second they told us to get up, we got up with them. We did not resist.”  

Trump says police breaking up Columbia protesters was 'beautiful thing to watch'

Former President Donald Trump said Wednesday that police coming into Columbia University and arresting more than 100 protesters and clearing out an occupied building “was a beautiful thing to watch.”

“New York was under siege last night,” he said, adding that Columbia's reputation has been “badly damaged.”

“The police came in and in exactly two hours, everything was over. It was a beautiful thing to watch,” he said. 

Four officers injured removing protesters at the University of Wisconsin in Madison

The Associated Press

Campus police spokesperson Marc Lovicott said four officers were injured Wednesday as police tried to remove protesters’ tents from a central square at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Lovicott said a state trooper was hit in the head with a skateboard and three sheriff’s deputies suffered injuries “directly related to the physical resistance from protesters.” At least a dozen people were arrested.

Police removed all but one tent while clashing with the demonstrators. But scores of protesters resumed chanting and, a few hours later, had erected more tents on the square.

Lovicott said police plan to continue monitoring the protests.

Hogan says campus protests are 'dangerous and must be immediately addressed'

Former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, who is running for senator in the state, said Wednesday that the increasing protests on college campuses are “dangerous and must be immediately addressed.”

“The antisemitic bigotry, harassment, threats, and lawlessness spreading through these encampments across college campuses is dangerous and must be immediately addressed,” Hogan, a Republican, said in a statement.

Hogan said what has happened at universities like Columbia and UCLA “should absolutely not be permitted to happen” in Maryland.

He said he urged city and state officials, as well as university leaders, to “take the necessary steps to put a stop to the chaos on campus.”

CAIR-LA calls for California attorney general to investigate law enforcement response at UCLA

The Council on American-Islamic Relations condemned violence that broke out last night between counterprotesters and anti-war demonstrators at the University of California, Los Angeles.

In an emailed statement, executive director Hussam Ayloush of CAIR's L.A. chapter said he is calling on the state attorney general's office to investigate "the lack of response" by university and Los Angeles police officers.

"Last night’s attack on UCLA students supporting Palestine was only the latest incident of violence against them," the statement read in part. "In recent days, pro-Israel extremists directed racial slurs and sexual threats at students, spat on a student, and released a pack of mice into the encampment."   

He added that violence has no place in free speech and said there would have been a “national outcry” if it had been the pro-Palestinian students inciting violence instead of pro-Israel counterprotesters.  

“Across our nation, students who have launched peaceful marches, sit-ins, and encampments to protest their institution’s financial investments in the Israeli government have been met with a campaign of disinformation, discrimination, and now disturbing violence," the statement went on. "This must end. UCLA and other schools must ensure that students can continue to peacefully protest the genocide in Gaza without facing attacks by violent pro-Israel mobs."

Gov. Gavin Newsom condemns violence at UCLA and delayed campus police response

Gov. Gavin Newsom said today he condemns the violence that unfolded in his home state at UCLA last night.

“The law is clear: The right to free speech does not extend to inciting violence, vandalism, or lawlessness on campus. Those who engage in illegal behavior must be held accountable for their actions — including through criminal prosecution, suspension, or expulsion,” he said on X

In a statement from his press office, the governor called the “limited and delayed” campus law enforcement response to UCLA last night “unacceptable — and it demands answers.”

“As soon as it became clear that state assistance was needed to support a local response, our office immediately deployed CHP personnel to campus.”

Columbia associate professor condemns police crackdown: 'An absolute failure of management'

Columbia University associate professor of English and comparative literature Joseph Slaughter said the NYPD's dismantling of protests on campus yesterday was "an absolute failure of management" and "completely inappropriate."

Slaughter said he, along with faculty and most students, was entirely locked out of campus yesterday, but he witnessed the armed NYPD truck pull up to campus and the NYPD's strategic response group climb through the windows of Hamilton Hall to arrest students.

Slaughter called Mayor Eric Adams' claim that "outside agitators led" the takeover of Hamilton Hall "irresponsible" before "the facts have actually been determined."

He said students have said police may be calling their friends the agitators.

"From what I’ve heard from students who are engaged with this question constantly, they think it’s their friends and entirely their friends. It may be that there was an outside agitator or two, but I don’t know," he explained.

"As I understand that the people who were arrested last night are still in jail, and so until they've come out of jail, we won’t actually know who it was that was actually in Hamilton Hall," said Slaughter, who also serves as the director of the Institute for the Study of Human Rights.

Slaughter was part of a faculty demonstration this morning outside of the locked campus gates at 116th and Amsterdam in solidarity with the student community and “condemning President Shafik and the board of trustees who authorized bringing in a heavily armed SWAT team on the campus.”

He noted that the encampment protests were "completely peaceful, nonviolent," though Hamilton Hall is a different case. "However, it’s completely inappropriate that the first reaction is to try to solve this with hardened police forces. It demonstrates to me an absolute failure of management at all levels," he said.

He said the relationship between the administration and students and faculty is "destroyed" — "It’s a crisis level like I’ve never seen before. I’ve been here 24 years."

"If the senior administration had listened to the voices of students back in October and November, if they had listened to the voices of faculty with expertise on these things, with deep knowledge on the history of student protests — we didn’t ever have to get to this point. But they stymied every possibility and villainized the students so that it was impossible for them to have other channels of speech."

Protesters form encampment at Fordham University at Lincoln Center

Joe Kottke, Katrina Lambert and Daniella Silva

A group of protesters at Fordham University at Lincoln Center formed an encampment today in the Leon Lowenstein Center with demonstrators supporting “solidarity” with other campuses that have made encampments and had them torn down.


Other signs lining the windows of the building entrance read, “GAZA SOLIDARITY ENCAMPMENT,” “WE DEMAND DIVESTMENT,” and “STUDENTS 4 PALESTINE LIBERATION.”

The Fordham Coalition for Palestine said in a statement Wednesday that “in direct response to the attack on Rafah and the police repression at the Columbia University and City University of New York,” the coalition would establish the "Gaza Solidarity Encampment to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian People."

Fordham did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday afternoon.

“The coalition condemns the actions of the Israeli Occupation Forces and New York’s Israeli-trained police and demands Fordham University disclose and divest from all companies (Northrop Grumman, Chevron, Google, etc.) complicit in the Israeli occupation and ongoing siege,” the group said.

As of early Wednesday afternoon, there were about 100 people gathered outside the Lowenstein building. It was not immediately clear how many protesters were inside the building, but there were about 10 tents inside the building and video taken earlier showed at least a dozen protesters.

More than a dozen officers also flanked the building.

Columbia University makes final exams remote

All final exams and assessments at Columbia University will be remote, the Ivy League’s provost said in an email to students and faculty today.

Further, all academic activities for schools on the Morningside Heights campus will be fully remote for the remainder of the semester, and any remaining class meetings, review sessions or office hours should also be held remotely. 

Protesters clash with police at University of Wisconsin-Madison encampment

At least 12 people were arrested, including several who resisted arrest, as police dispersed an encampment of protesters after 7 a.m., the UW-Madison Police Department said Wednesday.

Four members of law enforcement were injured during clashes with protesters at the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, police said in a statement. Three Dane County deputies were injured “all directly related to the physical resistance,” and one state trooper “sustained injuries when a protester struck their head with a skateboard,” the statement said. 

“It is not yet clear how many are affiliated with UW–Madison,” police said.

Earlier Wednesday morning, protesters clashed with police at UW-Madison as police carried out arrests and cleared out an encampment by pro-Palestinian demonstrators on campus. Protesters at UW-Madison, and dozens more across the country, have been calling for their universities to divest funding supporting Israel.

Police can be seen pushing back screaming protesters, some with signs and some wearing masks, and tearing down tents. Some protesters confronted police, resulting in clashes.

CAIR-NY demands charges be dropped against student protesters arrested at Columbia and CCNY

The Council on American-Islamic Relations’ New York chapter denounced the NYPD arrest of student protesters who "are on the right side of history" yesterday and called for the Manhattan district attorney to drop charges against them.

In total, 282 people were arrested on both campuses yesterday after students refused to end their demonstrations that demanded their institutions divest from Israel.

“It is sad but not surprising that Columbia University and CCNY officials would rather unleash the NYPD on their own students than simply meet their demand to divest from the Israeli government and its genocide in Gaza,” CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher said in a statement today. “Instead of joining students calling for an end to war profiteering, our universities are profiting from ethnic-based massacres.”

Nasher said as students called for a cease-fire and peace in Israel and Gaza, these colleges were "inviting violence onto campuses with police arrests."

"It is not complicated: suspensions, expulsions, and even violent arrests will not end campus protests. Students have made it clear that they require a true commitment to ending complicity in genocide," Nasher said. "CAIR-NY commends their pursuit to do their part in ending American support of Israel’s continued genocide. We fully expect these same schools to one day celebrate these students the same way students who occupied Hamilton Hall decades ago are celebrated today."

Hamilton Hall occupants both students and outsiders, Columbia says

Jesse Rodriguez

Jesse Rodriguez and David K. Li

The pro-Palestinian protesters arrested last night inside Hamilton Hall were a combination of Columbia University students and outsiders, the school's president said.

The building's takeover was the the final straw, pushing university officials into calling for police to clear out Hamilton Hall and the protest encampment, university President Minouche Shafik said.

"They have many supporters in our community and have a right to express their views and engage in peaceful protest," Shafik said in a statement today. "But students and outside activists breaking Hamilton Hall doors, mistreating our Public Safety officers and maintenance staff, and damaging property are acts of destruction, not political speech."

Hours before police action yesterday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams blamed unspecified “outsiders” for campus volatility. He said this morning that while some students were involved in the occupation of Hamilton Hall, they were “led by individuals not affiliated with the university.” Columbia has not responded to a request for comment regarding the statement.

Police fire tear gas on University of Southern Florida protesters

NBC News

Police in riot gear fired tear gas on demonstrators at a University of South Florida pro-Palestinian protest yesterday.

Ten people were arrested after police declared the protest an “unlawful assembly” yesterday afternoon. School officials had said in a release that 75 to 100 protesters — including some students and some not affiliated with the university — arrived on campus with wood shields, umbrellas and tents.

“As the day progressed, police observed participants in person and through social media expressing their intent to use some of the items they brought on campus as weapons and to resist university staff members and law enforcement officers. As a result, USF police determined that the protest was no longer peaceful, and participants must leave the area,” USF said. 

Jewish Federation says it’s 'appalled' at UCLA protest violence 

Jewish Federation Los Angeles said today it was “appalled at the violence that took place on the campus of UCLA last night.”

“The abhorrent actions of a few counter protestors last night do not represent the Jewish community or our values,” the group said in a statement. “We believe in peaceful, civic discourse.”

It said the violence was a “result of the lack of leadership from the Chancellor and the UCLA administration.”

“The Chancellor has allowed for an environment to be created over many months that has made students feel unsafe, allowed for illegal encampments in violation of its own laws, refused to censure faculty and staff who flouted UCLA’s Code of Conduct, and has been systemically slow to respond when law enforcement is desperately needed,” the statement said.

The federation called on the chancellor and the UCLA administration to close the encampment and meet with leaders of the Jewish community.

UCLA cancels all classes amid protests

UCLA announced today that all classes were canceled “due to the distress caused by the violence that took place on Royce Quad late last night.”

The university said that Royce Hall would remain closed through Friday and students should watch for notifications about their classes when they resume. 

“We have law enforcement presence stationed throughout campus to help promote safety,” the university said in a statement. “Student Affairs will have essential staff on campus to support our students who have been impacted by this tragedy.”

A demonstrator sits in front of barricades set up to protect an encampment on the UCLA campus on Wednesday, May 1, 2024, in Los Angeles.
A demonstrator sits in front of barricades set up to protect an encampment on the UCLA campus today.Eugene Garcia / AP

There were violent clashes between the pro-Palestinian encampment protesters and counterprotesters at the university overnight, and police said they responded at the university’s request “due to multiple acts of violence.”

Fights, fireworks and high tension: How a night of violence unfolded at UCLA

The chaos and violence seen at UCLA was captured by photojournalists on the scene. One of them, Anthony Cabassa, saw tension between the pro-Palestinian encampment and pro-Israeli counterprotesters turn into outright conflict.

At 10:14 p.m. (1:14 a.m. ET), a small group of counterprotesters arrived and played music loudly at the barrier to the encampment, Cabassa's videos show Some 30 minutes later, more counterprotesters had arrived — with another loudspeaker.

But by 11:20 p.m. (2:20 a.m.), some barriers had been destroyed, fireworks were being set off and mace had been sprayed.

At 12:10 a.m. (3:10 a.m. ET), fights had broken out, with some outside the encampment wearing masks and carrying what appeared to be metal poles. Clouds of smoke filled the air and large projectiles were thrown into the tents.

At 12:42 p.m., while these skirmishes were happening, a group appearing to be private security staff stand and watch. They had Apex Security Group written on their jackets, the name of a company based in Northridge, California.

Moments later, rival protesters engaged in a fistfight, with one person struck with a metal pole. Subsequent videos show both sides trading songs and chants.

At 1:21, Cabassa filmed a man with a bloodied head walking way from the violence. The people around him said he had been struck "with a metal rod."

The arrival of police on the scene was met with chants of "USA! USA!" from the pro-Israel protesters.

And eventually, by 2 a.m. (5 a.m. ET), police had managed to separate both sides and the campus returned to relative calm. Police then asked protesters to leave, a request that has so far not been followed.

More than 1,500 arrested in college protests

More than 1,500 people have been arrested since April 18 in connection with protests and encampments on U.S. university and college campuses, according to an NBC News tally.

Schools continue to crack down on protests — including at Columbia University and Cal Poly Humboldt last night — as dozens remain ongoing.

NYPD officers arrest students as they evict a building that had been barricaded by pro-Palestinian student protesters at Columbia University, in New York City on April 30, 2024.
Police arrest students at Columbia University last night.Charly Triballeau / AFP - Getty Images

282 arrested in NYC overnight from college protests

Police said 173 individuals were arrested at The City College of New York and 109 at Columbia University last night — for a total of 282 arrests.

It's not clear how many of those were students, faculty or individuals not affiliated with the schools.

Police arrest protesters during pro-Palestinian demonstrations at The City College Of New York on April 30, 2024.
Police arrest protesters last night at The City College of New York.Spencer Platt / Getty Images

NYC mayor: Occupation of Columbia building was 'led' by individuals not affiliated with the university

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said in a briefing this morning that while some students were involved in the occupation of Hamilton Hall at Columbia University — they were "led by individuals not affiliated with the university."

He said the NYPD was called to the campus at the request of university officials, who acknowledged to police that "outside agitators were on their ground training and really co-opting this movement."

“There is a movement to radicalize young people. I'm not going to wait till it’s done to acknowledge the significance of it,” Adams said. 

However, he did not share details on who or how many of these non-university affiliated individuals were involved or in what fashion they were involved. 

The deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism at the NYPD, Rebecca Weiner, said, “there are a number of different individuals from over the years associated with protests,” not just in New York, linked to a “change in tactics” that allegedly unfolded at Columbia protests including black block attire, the breaking of doors, vandalism, barricading and makeshift weapons recovered in the encampment. 

Adams said: “We saw evidence in training, we saw a change in tactics being used … We knew it was time to communicate with the school and say “you have more than a peaceful protest on your hands.” 

Chicago's DePaul University urges peace, threatens suspensions

An encampment protest demanding divestment from Israel started yesterday at DePaul University, a private Catholic university nestled in Chicago's bustling Lincoln Park neighborhood.

Tents were put up and protest numbers grew to about 200 students, faculty and others, according to the school paper, The DePaulia

School officials said “it is our fervent desire to promote open dialogue in a spirit of peace.” It noted tents and un-permitted structures on school property violate university policies, and that a team of senior leaders, staff and faculty are working to “engage” with those protesting to communicate “limits.”

Pro-Palestinian protesters demonstrate on the campus of DePaul University on April 30, 2024, in Chicago.
Pro-Palestinian protesters yesterday at DePaul University in Chicago. Charles Rex Arbogast / AP

Any violence, harassment or acts that interfere with school operations including property damage or disrupting neighbors “will lead to immediate disciplinary actions, such as suspension or expulsion, and criminal sanctions.” Further, “any complaints made directly to the Chicago Police Department by the neighboring community will be followed up by them directly, and the university will not be able to intervene in those instances,” school officials added.

14 arrested, encampment protest cleared at Tulane University

As many as 14 people — two of them students — were arrested overnight as police cleared out an encampment protest at Tulane University in New Orleans, police said. 

A spokesperson for the New Orleans Police Department said a complete list of charges hasn’t been completed yet, but most are for trespassing. 

The university leadership said in an e-mail to its community early today that Tulane University Police led a "coordinated effort" along with New Orleans Police and Louisiana State Police "to remove protestors who have trespassed on our campus over the last two days and erected an illegal encampment" in the early morning hours.

"Overwhelming majority of the protesters are unaffiliated with our community," school officials said.

“In the days leading up to this action we issued multiple verbal warnings, written statements, broadcasted messages and erected a huge sign warning demonstrators that they were trespassing and were subject to arrest,” school officials said.

The crackdown comes after after six individuals, including one student, were arrested Monday in connection with the protest. So far, seven students have been suspended, and pupils who participated “in this unlawful occupation” have been referred for “immediately disciplinary action.”

Blinken met with bloodied hands banner in Tel Aviv

Max Butterworth

Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks to families and supporters of Israeli hostages held by Hamas in Gaza during a protest calling for their return in Tel Aviv today.

Image: Antony Blinken
Oded Balilty / AP

Police arrest 32 at Cal Poly Humboldt, campus to remain closed until May 10

California State Polytechnic University said it was continuing a cleanup operation on campus after 32 people, including 13 students and one faculty member, were arrested late yesterday in connection with what it called the "illegal occupation of two campus buildings."

The rest of those arrested had no affiliation with the college, Humboldt said in a statement.

University staff are clearing Siemens Hall and Nelson Hall East of garbage and had last night begun to paint over graffiti, it said.

The campus remains subject to a "hard closure" until May 10 and commencement ceremonies will be "modified."

‘You are our hope’: Palestinian students find strength in U.S. campus protests

Palestinian student Ezz Lulu
Ezz Lulu, 22, surrounded by rubble in northern Gaza.NBC News

Protests against Israel’s assault on Gaza have rocked college campuses in the U.S. and drawn condemnation from Israeli leaders, but students in the Palestinian enclave say they are watching the demonstrations closely — and gaining renewed strength from their peers in America.

“I feel proud that there is a group of students who feel what we feel now — and are helping and supporting us,” said Reem Musa Suleiman Abu Shinar, who studied law before Oct. 7. She was speaking to an NBC News crew in the city of Rafah in southern Gaza, where she and her family are sheltering along with more than a million others ahead of an expected Israeli ground offensive.

Rafah US protest message
A man writes a message of thanks on a tent in Rafah on April 27, thanking students in the U.S. for their support. AFP - Getty Images

Read the full article here

University of Arizona police used ‘chemical irritant munitions’ to clear out protest

University of Arizona police responded late yesterday to an “unlawful assembly” on campus and deployed “chemical irritant munitions,” according to updates from the school.

The school’s campus announcement system, UAlert, said shortly after midnight that “police action was being taken” and ordered students to “follow directions of police to disperse.”

Around 2 a.m., the irritant munitions were deployed and by 2:20 a.m., a UAlert was issued saying “all clear,” noting the area of the protest was open to the public.

UCLA's pro-Palestinian protesters say they suffered 'an act of terror' from counterprotesters

Pro-Palestinian protesters who remain camped at UCLA accused a pro-Israeli group of carrying out a "terror" attack and criticized college leaders for not protecting them.

"The life-threatening assault we face tonight is nothing less than a horrifying, despicable act of terror," the UC Divest at UCLA group said in a statement reported by the college paper, Daily Bruin.

Clashes broke out on May 1, 2024 around pro-Palestinian demonstrations at the University of California, Los Angeles, as universities around the United States struggle to contain similar protests on dozens of campuses.
Etienne Laurent / AFP - Getty Images

"Law enforcement simply stood at the edge of the lawn and refused to budge as we screamed for their help," it said.

In a previous statement, posted on Instagram around 8 p.m. local time Tuesday (11 p.m. ET), the group said that "Zionist aggressors" who are not UCLA students had been "incessantly verbally and physically harassing us, violently trying to storm the camp, and threatening us with weapons."

The group said that UCLA administrators were trying to clear the camp not because it violates safety policies, as they have said, but because "they refuse to protect us."

Fence thrown at pro-Palestinian encampment on UCLA campus

Max Butterworth

A counterprotester throws a fence at pro-Palestinian protesters next to their encampment on the UCLA campus in Los Angeles in the early hours of today.

 Clashes broke out on May 1, 2024 around pro-Palestinian demonstrations at the University of California, Los Angeles, as universities around the United States struggle to contain similar protests on dozens of campuses.
Etienne Laurent / AFP - Getty Images

Around 300 arrested in connection with protests at Columbia and CCNY, police confirm

Hundreds of people have been arrested in connection with pro-Palestinian protests this week at Columbia University — where an entire building was occupied before police cleared it — and at the City College of New York, police said.

The NYPD's deputy commissioner for public information, Tarik Sheppard, told NBC News this morning that 230 people were arrested at Columbia, between 40 and 50 of whom were at the occupied Hamilton Hall, while the rest were arrested at CCNY.

Police have not identified any of those arrested or provided details on any charges.

USC president condemns swastika drawn on campus

The University of Southern California confirmed yesterday it was investigating antisemitic symbols that had been drawn on campus, including a swastika.

"I've just been made aware of a swastika drawn on our campus. I condemn any antisemitic symbols or any form of hate speech against anyone," the college's president, Carol Folt, said in a statement.

"Clearly it was drawn there just to incite even more anger at a time that is so painful for our community," she continued. The symbols had been removed, she said.

USC has introduced a ticketing system for its commencement events this year and canceled its main stage ceremony in light of ongoing tensions on campus amid the pro-Palestinian protests.

Police separate rival groups at UCLA but protesters refuse to leave

Rival groups that had earlier been involved in violent confrontations appeared to have been separated by a line of police officers by 2 a.m. (5 a.m. ET).

The scene is less chaotic than earlier, but a vocal group of protesters still refuses to leave despite police calls for them to go home.

Clashes broke out on May 1, 2024 around pro-Palestinian demonstrations at the University of California, Los Angeles, as universities around the United States struggle to contain similar protests on dozens of campuses.
Frederic J. Brown / AFP - Getty Images

Footage broadcast by the Reuters news agency showed a police officer saying through a loudspeaker "the encampment is over for tonight," urging people to leave.

But the pro-Palestinian group chanted in response: "We're not leaving, you don't scare us."

Mayor says violence at UCLA is 'abhorrent and inexcusable'

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass strongly condemned the violence at UCLA overnight, calling it "absolutely abhorrent and inexcusable."

She confirmed that the LAPD is now at the campus.

Protests amid ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, at UCLA in Los Angeles
A counterprotester strikes a barricade at a pro-Palestinian encampment on the University of California campus.David Swanson / Reuters

It's unclear why law enforcement wasn't sent into tackle the unfolding situation sooner. NBC Los Angeles reported that counterprotesters arrived just before 11 p.m. (2 a.m. ET), before clashes broke out and items were thrown between the rival groups.

Iran's supreme leader comments on university protests

Ammar Cheikh Omar

Gaza “is the world’s number one issue today,” Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a post on X today, while commenting on ongoing campus protests across the United States.

Khamenei said that Israel and “their American and European supporters” were working to drop Gaza “from the agenda of world public opinion,” but “they will not be able to do so.”

“Look at what is happening in American and European universities,” he added.

Freedom of speech is heavily curtailed in Iran: a protest movement that grew after the death of Mahsa Amini in police custody in 2022 was met with a violent police crackdown that killed hundreds, according to human rights groups.

LAPD responding to 'multiple acts of violence' on UCLA campus at university's request

The Los Angeles Police Department said on X that it was responding at the university's request due to '"multiple acts of violence" within the large protest encampment on the UCLA campus.

Clashes at UCLA between pro-Palestinians and counterprotesters

Max Butterworth

Clashes broke out on Wednesday around pro-Palestinian demonstrations at the University of California, Los Angeles, US television media footage showed, as universities around the United States struggle to contain similar protests on dozens of campuses.
Clashes broke out on May 1, 2024 around pro-Palestinian demonstrations at the University of California, Los Angeles, US television media footage showed, as universities around the United States struggle to contain similar protests on dozens of campuses.
Etienne Laurent / AFP - Getty Images

A group of counterprotesters attempted to dismantle the walls of a pro-Palestinian encampment, as one individual was dragged and beaten as clashes erupted on the UCLA campus in Los Angeles early this morning.

LAPD is 'responding immediately' to unrest at UCLA, mayor says

Police are about to arrive on scene at UCLA, where clashes have taken place between members of a pro-Palestinian encampment and counterprotesters, according to the office of Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass.

Zach Seidl, deputy mayor of communications for Bass, said the mayor had spoken to UCLA Chancellor Gene D. Block and that police were responding to his request for support on campus.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a post on X that he was monitoring the situation and that "resources are being mobilized."

Arrests made at CCNY after standoff between police and demonstrators

NBC News

Police officers pushed back protesters at the City College of New York last night, as they arrested more than 25 people.

The college said a group marched from nearby Columbia University. Video footage showed them trying to break through a police barricade, while some shouted: "No justice, no peace."

Police said in an audio message: "If you refuse to leave, you may be placed under arrest." Several were seen being led away in handcuffs.

Unrest comes after UCLA declared encampment unlawful

The clashes between a pro-Palestinian encampment and counterprotesters at UCLA overnight and into this morning came after the college declared the protest "unlawful" and urged activists to leave.

"The established encampment is unlawful and violates university policy," the message sent to protesters said.

Separately, Chancellor Gene D. Block urged protesters to leave and condemned the actions of some.

"Many of the demonstrators, as well as counter-demonstrators who have come to the area, have been peaceful in their activism. But the tactics of others have frankly been shocking and shameful," he said in a statement last night.

"UCLA supports peaceful protest, but not activism that harms our ability to carry out our academic mission and makes people in our community feel bullied, threatened and afraid," he continued.

Block said the university had increased its security presence and "engaged law enforcement to investigate the recent acts of violence." But as of 1:30 a.m. (4:30 a.m. ET), there was still no sign of a police presence on campus, as fighting continued.

Violent scenes at UCLA as pro-Palestinian groups and counterprotesters clash

UCLA Protests Fireworks
A firework explodes during protests on the campus of UCLA in Westwood, Los Angeles, early today.via KNBC

Clashes erupted at the University of California, Los Angeles, in the early hours today when pro-Palestinian protesters and counterprotesters clashed— with no visible police or security presence so far.

NBC Los Angeles reported that counterprotesters waving Israeli flags arrived around 10.45 p.m. (1.45 a.m. ET) at a pro-Palestinian encampment that has been at UCLA for the last week.

Fireworks were being set off and chemicals were sprayed into the air.

A group identified as counterprotesters were seen in footage shared on social media throwing lit fireworks into the pro-Palestinian protest encampment.

More than 25 protesters arrested at City College of New York

Police arrested 25 people at the City College of New York campus late last night, after what it called a series of violent incidents in recent days.

The arrests came as NYPD arrested almost 100 people at Columbia's nearby Morningside Heights campus, after Hamilton Hall was occupied yesterday.

CCNY's parent institution, the City University of New York, said in a statement that a large crowd marched from Columbia to CCNY. CUNY public safety staff arrested 25 people, but as the crowd grew in size administrators "made the difficult decision to request NYPD assistance," it said.

Police arrived at 11.45 p.m. and made an unspecified number of further arrests.

“CUNY is committed to maintaining a safe environment for students, faculty and the entire City College campus community, which also includes two public high schools and a daycare center," the statement said.

The college said that over the last six days, there had been a fire at the Marshak Science Building caused by a flare gun, as well as "clashes with the public."

Last night also saw a break-in at the college's administration building, where door windows were smashed, and an attempted break-in at Shepard Hall, the school said.

"Students have a right to demonstrate peacefully and exercise their First Amendment rights. Tuesday night’s actions were taken in response to specific and repeated acts of violence and vandalism, not in response to peaceful protest," the statement said.

Video shows damage inside Columbia University building

NBC News

Video released by Columbia University shows overturned tables and chairs and broken glass inside Hamilton Hall after NYPD removed protesters who had been barricaded in the building.

The campus was declared clear at 11 p.m. last night.