Statement: JVP Stands With the Students of Columbia University and CCNY.

Last night, student protestors at Columbia University and the City College of New York were brutalized by the NYPD — in order to protect their universities’ investments in Israeli apartheid.

Jewish Voice for Peace condemns the NYPD’s arrests and assaults of over 50 Columbia and Barnard students peacefully occupying Hind’s Hall (formerly Hamilton Hall, renamed by students in honor of a 6-year-old Palestinian girl killed by the Israeli military), and those of dozens of protesting students at the City College of New York.

For over six months, people of conscience have come together to demand an immediate and permanent end to the Israeli military’s ongoing genocide of Palestinians in Gaza.

As the Israeli military prepares to invade Rafah, scores of peaceful student encampments have bravely assembled across the country to demand that institutions of higher learning end their complicity with the Israeli government’s dispossession of Palestinian families from their homes and land.

Early reports from tonight include horrifying instances of violence against students by the police. At Columbia University, this included hundreds of police with drawn weapons deploying flash-bang grenades, throwing a student down the stairwell. Student journalists reported a substance that smelled of sewage.

It will forever be a stain on Columbia that the administration called riot police on its own student body rather than divest from the brutality of war and occupation.

The blame for tonight’s violence also falls on the shoulders of politicians such as President Biden, House Speaker Mike Johnson, NYC Mayor Eric Adams, and more, who have used their power to smear anti-war protests, paving the way for police violence against students.

History has shown that Columbia University was wrong in its oppression of the student anti-war movement of 1968, and wrong again in its oppression of the student movement against South African apartheid in 1985.

History will show that Columbia University, and all university administrations refusing to divest from Israeli apartheid, are yet again wrong in oppressing students demonstrating for Palestinian freedom and an end to the Israeli genocide of Palestinian families.

We call on Columbia University and CCNY to accede to the students’ demands for disclosure of and divestment from all investments supporting Israeli apartheid, and demand that they reverse all punitive measures against these brave student protestors.

As the students remind us: All eyes on Gaza.


the Wire

Stay up to date on the most important news from Palestine and the Palestine solidarity movement, and receive action alerts and invitations to online events.