/ 02 May 2024

A campus kerfuffle

Columbia University protest encampment

There have been extraordinary scenes at universities across America, with violent clashes breaking out between student groups protesting over the war in Gaza. In New York, riot police stormed Columbia University and City College of NY, arresting nearly 300 people, and in LA, clashes between protestors at UCLA saw fireworks and sticks hurled. The colleges are among dozens of US campuses overtaken by demonstrators in past weeks. Columbia says it called in police after students “vandalised and blockaded” a key building and ignored warnings to leave. US President Joe Biden says he supports “peaceful protest” but “occupying buildings is wrong”. The students are demanding their unis cut ties with Israeli companies or donors. Here in Oz, it’s been a more subdued scene – with the biggest protest being held on the lawns of Sydney Uni and others springing up in Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra.

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