More than 100 arrested at New York University as campus protests spread

More than 100 students and staff were arrested at New York University (NYU) on Monday night as protests around the Israel-Hamas war reached a boiling point.

Recent days have seen an escalation of long-running largely pro-Palestinian protests in some of the country's most prestigious educational establishments.

Protesters at NYU, Columbia and Yale have made various demands of their universities, including that they end their relationships with universities in Israel, take stronger action over the war and divest from military weapons manufacturers who have links to Israel.

It has led to growing tensions on campus which have become hotbeds for protest, as some Jewish students have said they have been left fearing for their safety.

Mass demonstrations have swept US universities since the 7 October attacks by Hamas, and Israel's response which is reported to have killed over 30,000 Palestinians in Gaza.

Protests reached boiling point on Monday night as universities took action and police were called in.

At NYU, officers moved on the crowds shortly after they set the demonstration a 4pm deadline to disperse, and claimed that protesters were joined by people "whom we believe were not affiliated with NYU".

Several tents had been set up in the plaza where many were protesting in. A group of pro-Israel counter-protesters had also been in the plaza Monday afternoon.

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On Monday evening, a line of university staff members linked arms in front of the protesters to protect them from police before they were arrested and taken away themselves.

As demonstrators tussled with officers they chanted: "We will not stop, we will not rest. Disclose. Divest."

Police appeared to use mace on protesters, with one student saying it was used "liberally".

A spokesperson for the NYPD confirmed that 120 people were taken into custody - 116 of whom were released with summonses for trespass, giving them a future date to appear before a judge or magistrate.

The remaining four were issued with desk appearance tickets for more serious offences - meaning they are required to appear at a criminal court on a future date.

The NYU Palestine Solidarity Coalition said that students were arrested with "extreme violence" and that the arrests started as Muslim students began Maghrib Prayer.

They claimed that one student was pulled to the ground by her hair and a student reporter was pepper-sprayed by the NYPD.

Alongside that, NYU buildings, they said, were put into lockdown, with security not allowing some students in or out.

NYPD deputy commissioner Kaz Daughtry said the university had requested for police to come to the campus, adding: "Our officers responded to the location without delay and dispersed the crowd - making numerous arrests, as necessary."

At Yale University in Connecticut, protests were reported to have grown to "include several hundred people - Yale undergraduates, graduate and professional students, and people with no Yale affiliation", according to a statement from the university.

It added that the Yale Police Department issued summonses for 47 students.

Last week, more than 100 students at Columbia University in New York were arrested after the administration called to report the students as a danger to campus.

NYPD chief of patrol John Chell told the student newspaper there were no reports of violence or injuries and that the students were "peaceful, offered no resistance whatsoever."

Robert Kraft, a major donor to Columbia who is Jewish and the billionaire owner of the New England Patriots, has threatened to pull his money from the university, saying: "I am not comfortable supporting the university until corrective action is taken."

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Pro-Palestinian protests have also been set up at the University of Michigan, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt.

The NYPD, NYU and Columbia have all been approached for comment.