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Columbia University students defy deadline to clear pro-Palestinian encampment

Students maintaining a pro-Palestinian encampment at Columbia University have refused to budge, despite a deadline to either disperse or face disciplinary action.

Students began observing the protest method on April 18, raging against the Israeli regime’s ongoing genocidal war against the Gaza Strip, and Washington’s generous support for the war. They have been calling on the college to divest financial holdings linked to the Israeli regime as a condition for their breaking up the encampment.

Authorities, however, said they would not concede to the demand and gave the students until Monday to disband.

Defying the deadline, the students released a statement earlier in the day that read, “These repulsive scare tactics mean nothing compared to the deaths of over 34,000 Palestinians.”

At least 34,488 people have been killed and 77,643 others wounded in the brutal Israeli military onslaught that was launched on October 7 following al-Aqsa Storm, a retaliatory operation staged by Gaza’s resistance groups.

“We will not move until Columbia meets our demands or… are moved by force,” the statement added.

Following Columbia’s model, students have been setting up many such encampments across universities from coast to coast.

On Sunday, The Washington Post revealed that at least 900 protesters had been arrested since the launch of the pro-Palestinian demonstrations on university campuses throughout the US.

Over 900 arrested at anti-war protests in US universities since April 18

Over 900 arrested at anti-war protests in US universities since April 18

At least 900 protesters have been arrested since the launch of pro-Palestinian demonstrations on university campuses across the US, a report says.

Academics have, meanwhile, been banding together throughout the country under the banner of Faculty and Staff for Justice in Palestine (FSJP).

Earlier in April, the FSJP’s Georgia chapter called on Morehouse College in Atlanta, which invited Joe Biden as its 2024 commencement speaker, to rescind its invitation as a means of objecting to the president’s role in enabling the Israeli genocide.

At Biden’s behest, the United States has been providing the Israeli war with unreserved military and intelligence support.

The US has also vetoed several United Nations Security Council resolutions calling for an immediate ceasefire in the brutal military onslaught that has so far claimed the lives of at least 34,454 Gazans, mostly women and children.

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