Arrested. Injured. Suspended. Six NYC university students say they’ll keep protesting

Arrested. Injured. Suspended. Six NYC university students say they’ll keep protesting

NPR reports:

At Columbia University, word was spreading among the student protesters who’d defied the university’s order to take down their pro-Palestinian encampment on a central lawn. Police were gathering outside the school’s locked gates. Arrests seemed imminent. It was the evening of April 30.

Allie Wong, a doctoral student, was off campus when she heard what was happening. She rushed there and found a way to sneak in.

Before the night was over, Wong would be one among nearly 300 protesters arrested at two New York City colleges. NPR spoke with six of them about their choice to risk arrest, discipline from their universities, and possibly their academic and professional futures.

Allie Wong said she knew what she was getting into.

“I ran like a bat out of hell,” she said, “and sprinted to Hamilton Hall,” the building that a group of students and people unaffiliated with the university had occupied the previous night in an escalation of their protest against Israel and the war in Gaza.

Wong linked arms with other students in front of the building. They were singing songs about peace when the police arrived to force their human chain apart.

Several blocks north, Bashir Juwara arrived at the City College of New York driven by a similar sense of responsibility. He’s the student body president at Hunter College, another campus within the City University of New York system. Hunter students were participating in the pro-Palestinian encampment at City College, and as their president, Juwara wanted to show support. He was live streaming the scene outside the school’s gates when police arrested him, along with 172 others there that night.

In the two weeks since, police have made some 4,000 arrests at pro-Palestinian encampments on dozens of college campuses across the country.

The arrests have rattled academia to its core, inviting criticism that schools are using force to repress the most significant student movement in recent history, but also support from people who see some aspects of the anti-Israel protests as antisemitic. [Continue reading…]

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