Unfazed by Thursday’s mass arrests, protests are continuing at Columbia University on Friday and a large police presence — with officers in riot gear — is being reported.

Demonstrators — said to include activist actress Susan Sarandon — are currently marching through the streets and have made it to the university, chanting with signs and flags.

Protesters could be heard chanting: “NYPD KKK. NYPD we know you. You’re Israeli trained too!”

“I am not a student, I am not Palestinian, but I am here to support the students who understand that it is very important to have their voices heard,” Sarandon said. 

“Especially in a place of education and supposedly higher thoughts, to be attacked with racism and intolerance is not acceptable. There are many many people who stand with you.”

“You must know that you inspire so man people who are afraid.”

The march was heading south bound and had earlier paused in front of the 28th Police Precinct, and then turned west on 123rd Street. Protesters blocked traffic and the NYPD instructed them to move onto the sidewalk. 

They then stopped at 116th Street and Broadway at the university.

Earlier in the day, protesters returned to the campus’ lawn area to continue their anti-Israel protest and say they will “hold this line” until their demands are met. 

Video shows dozens of people, many donning black-and-white keffiyeh headscarves and COVID-19 masks, planted down on sheets and sleeping bags on a lawn adjacent to where yesterday’s fiery protests took place. 

A large banner with the words “Gaza Solidarity Encampment” marked their territory and several Palestinian flags were flying throughout their occupied zone.


The mood was a lot quieter than Thursday and piles of food and drinks could be seen in the center of the encampment, indicating the protesters were there for the long haul. Unlike yesterday, there are no tents and those involved say on social media they’ve been told they can remain on the lawn as long as no tents are pitched.


“Your organizers are returning, I ask you to please hold this line and to continue to bring people out in support of Palestine to get our demands,” one protestor holding a Dunkin’ Donuts cup railed into a bullhorn.

“The more they try to silence us the louder we will be,” he began chanting, as others joined in. He then broke into a trade union-inspired song called “Rich Man’s House,” singing: “So I went down the rich man’s house and I stole what he took with me.”


Pro-Palestine protestors demonstrate outside of Columbia University’s campus

The demonstrators say they are protesting Columbia University’s continued “financial investment in corporations that profit from Israel apartheid, genocide, and occupation in Palestine.”

They are calling for the university to make public all of its financial investments, no further arrests and the dropping of charges for all students disciplined for their involvement in the protests. 

In total, 108 people were arrested and given a summons for trespassing, the New York Police Department (NYPD) said during a Thursday press conference, including the daughter of Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. Two people were additionally given a summons for obstruction of governmental administration. 

“While the encampment has been dismantled, our community has had protest activity on campus since October, and we expect that activity to continue,” a Columbia University spokesperson tells Fox News. “We have rules regarding the time, place, and manner that apply to protest activity and we will continue to enforce those. We remain in regular contact with our students and student groups and are committed to ensuring the core functions of the University continue.”

Protester at Columbia University


The NYPD was invited to the university by school President Minouche Shafik on Thursday. Earlier in the day, Shafik sent a message to the student body, saying that these “extraordinary steps” were necessary “because these are extraordinary circumstances” and that the protesters had “violated a long list of rules and policies.”

The police operation was the first mass arrests to be made on the Columbia campus since 1968, when hundreds of students occupied Hamilton Hall in protest of the Vietnam War and the planned construction of a gymnasium in Morningside Park were detained, the Columbia Spector reported. 

Like many Ivy League college campuses, Columbia University has seen numerous pro-Palestinian protests sprout since Oct. 7. The demonstrations have gotten more intense as Israel continues to conduct its military offensive in the Gaza Strip against Hamas.  

Fox News’ CB Cotton, Stephen Sorace and Louis Casiano contributed to this report. 


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