Updated Apr 22, 2024 - Politics & Policy

NYPD arrests Gaza war protesters at NYU in fresh U.S. campus flashpoint

 Police intervene and arrest more than 100 students at New York University (NYU) who continue their demonstration on campus in solidarity with the students at Columbia University and to oppose Israel's attacks on Gaza, in New York, United States on April 22, 2024.

Police face protesters at New York University (NYU) during a demonstration on campus Monday in solidarity with both Palestinians and students at Columbia University. Photo: Fatih Aktas/Anadolu via Getty Images

A pro-Palestinian protest at New York University resulted in multiple people being taken into custody on Monday night, the NYPD said.

The big picture: The latest incident of a university cracking down on demonstrations related to the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza came hours after police arrested 45 people at Yale and Columbia University canceled in-person classes due to pro-Palestinian protests.

  • Since New York City police arrested over 100 Gaza war protesters at Columbia last week, pro-Palestine encampments have also emerged at other campuses including Berkeley, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Emerson College and Tufts University.

Details: Police could not immediately share how many people had been arrested or issued with summonses because the situation was ongoing, a New York City Police Department spokesperson told Axios over the phone.

  • NYU spokesperson John Beckman said in an online statement there were reports of antisemitism during the protest.
  • Faculty members were among those arrested, an NYPD spokesperson told CNN.
  • The NYU Faculty for Justice in Palestine, a New York University chapter of the national network of affiliated campus chapters formed in October, said in a statement posted to X that "NYU has authorized NYPD to arrest its own students, faculty, staff and anyone who dares to stand in solidarity with Palestine."

What they're saying: Beckman said college officials erected barriers on the plaza outside the business school to prevent further disruption to classes and school operations after 50 people began protesting there "without notice to the University, and without authorization."

  • However, additional protesters, "many of whom we believe were not affiliated with NYU, suddenly breached the barriers" and joined the others already on the plaza in violation of university rules and directions from officials.
  • They refused to leave and officials "learned that there were intimidating chants and several antisemitic incidents reported" and they asked for assistance from the NYPD, Beckman said.
  • The school had earlier said in social media posts that protesters needed to clear the plaza by 4pm, adding: "If you leave now, no one will face any consequences for today's actions—no discipline, no police."

Zoom out: A rise in reports of antisemitic and Islamophobic incidents at colleges since the war in Gaza started has prompted the Education Department to launch a series of investigations into alleged discrimination on campuses.

Go deeper: House members clash over antisemitism in dueling Columbia visits

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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