Pro-Palestinian student protesters take over Columbia University building

Dozens of protesters took over a building at Columbia University in New York early Tuesday, barricading the entrances and unfurling a Palestinian flag out of a window in the latest escalation of demonstrations against the Israel-Hamas war that have spread to college campuses nationwide.

Protesters on Columbia's Manhattan campus locked arms in front of Hamilton Hall early Tuesday and carried furniture and metal barricades to the building, one of several that was occupied during a 1968 civil rights and anti-Vietnam War protest on the campus, video footage showed. Posts on an Instagram page for protest organizers shortly after midnight urged people to protect the encampment and join them at Hamilton Hall. A “Free Palestine” banner hung from a window.

“An autonomous group reclaimed Hind’s Hall, previously known as ‘Hamilton Hall,’ in honor of Hind Rajab, a martyr murdered at the hands of the genocidal Israeli state at the age of six years old,” CU Apartheid Divest posted on the social media platform X early Tuesday.

Hamilton Hall is an academic building that opened in 1907 and is named after Alexander Hamilton, who attended King's College, Columbia's original name.

The student radio station, WKCR-FM, broadcast a play-by-play of the hall’s takeover, which occurred nearly 12 hours after Monday’s 2 p.m. deadline for the protesters to leave an encampment of around 120 tents or face suspension.


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