Videos show growing pro-Palestinian campus protests as lawmakers speak out

Police arresting students. Helicopters buzzing over New York City. Demonstrators shouting and lawmakers condemning university officials.

Videos of the campus protests, shared widely on TikTok, X and elsewhere, are spreading on social media and show the most visceral aspects of the demonstrations. Much like the war in the Middle East itself, the images can inform and inflame viewers — and serve as a reminder that in the modern age, videos spread on social media can shape public opinion.

Videos from New York show tension spilling off campus

Aerial videos shot from above the city show hundreds of students have set up an encampment on Columbia’s campus, including dozens of tents where they have been sleeping and eating for a week. New York University had an encampment of its own but it was cleared out by police on Monday night. Students say the demonstrations are to show their support for Palestinians in Gaza and to pressure their universities to “divest all economic and academic stakes in Israel.”

The New York City Police Department arrested more than 100 Columbia students on Thursday and 120 NYU students on Monday after receiving permission from university leaders. Protests extended off campus on Tuesday.

Lawmakers speak out

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have spoken out about the unrest on Columbia’s campus, and all New York House Republicans are among those calling for Columbia President Minouche Shafik’s resignation. House Speaker Mike Johnson on Wednesday became the most senior elected official to call on her to resign.

President Joe Biden on Monday condemned the actions of demonstrators who he deemed as “antisemitic” while also condemning “those who don’t understand what’s going on with the Palestinians.”

Former President Donald Trump condemned the pro-Palestinian protests at Columbia’s campus on Tuesday, saying it’s a “disgrace to our country.”

Protests spread to campuses across the country

Colleges in about a dozen states have seen pro-Palestinian student protests within the past week, from the East Coast at Yale University, Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to the west at California State Polytechnic at Humboldt and to the middle of the country at the University of Minnesota.

Original Politco Link