University protests NYC: Encampments spread from Columbia to FIT, CCNY

As Columbia student protesters remain vigilant at pro-Palestinian encampments set up last week despite clashes with police and the university, more have popped up at college campuses across the U.S., including more in NYC.

Students at the City College of New York and the Fashion Institute of Technology were called to join new encampments Thursday, and so far, no arrests have been made at these institutions.

Over at New York University, more than 100 students were arrested Monday amid campus demonstrations.

Police intervene and arrest more than 100 students at New York University (NYU) who continue their demonstration on campus in solidarity with the students at Columbia University and to oppose Israel's attacks on Gaza, in New York, United States on Ap

The students are calling for universities to separate themselves from any companies that are advancing Israel’s military efforts in Gaza -- and in some cases from Israel itself. The movement has taken on new strength as the Israel-Hamas war surpasses the six-month mark and stories of suffering in Gaza have sparked international calls for a cease-fire.

What is happening at Columbia University?

Tensions flared again Wednesday at Columbia University as pro-Palestinian protesters clashed with the NYPD on campus. 

Last night, police asked a group of demonstrators to move away from the front of the Ivy League school, near the intersection of 116th St. and Broadway in Morningside Heights.

Meanwhile, dozens of tents and students remained sprawled out on the university's west lawn. 

NYPD officers make arrests of Pro-Palestinian protesters on the lawn of Columbia University on Thursday April 18, 2024, in Manhattan, New York. (Barry Williams for New York Daily News/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

According to Columbia officials, talks are ongoing, one day after they extended the deadline for students to dismantle their encampment.

They said the demonstrators had committed to removing a significant number of tents and agreed that only students would remain at the encampment. They also said they would make the encampment more welcoming by banning any discriminatory language or harassing messages. 

Earlier Wednesday, U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson visited Columbia to meet with Jewish students over concerns about antisemitism on college campuses. Johnson said Israel and Jewish students on campus will not stand alone. Protesters nearby said they couldn't hear him and he responded, "Enjoy your free speech."

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson (R-LA) speaks during a press conference at Columbia University on April 24, 2024 in New York City. (Photo by Alex Kent/Getty Images)

Protests had been bubbling for months but kicked into a higher gear after more than 100 pro-Palestinian demonstrators who had camped out on Columbia's campus were arrested Thursday. Dozens more protesters have been arrested at other campuses since, and many now face charges of trespassing or disorderly conduct.

Who is the president of Columbia University?

Johnson was booed by hecklers while calling on university President Minouche Shafik to step down. He also pushed for the school to stop hate and harassment against Jewish students. 

"If this is not contained quickly and if these threats and intimidation are not stopped, there is an appropriate time for the National Guard," he said.

On Wednesday evening, a Columbia spokesperson said rumors that the university had threatened to bring in the National Guard were unfounded. 

"Our focus is to restore order, and if we can get there through dialogue, we will," said Ben Chang, Columbia’s vice president for communications.

Other demonstrations across US


Emerson College

At Emerson College in Boston, 108 people were arrested and four police officers suffered injuries that were not life-threatening at an encampment, Boston police said Thursday. Those arrested were expected to appear in Boston Municipal Court.


Another 93 people were arrested Wednesday night during a protest at the University of Southern California, the Los Angeles Police Department said. There were no reports of injuries.


Pro-Palestine protesters arrested after hours-long protests on USC campus

The protest is part of a nationwide trend of college demonstrations in support of Palestinians in the Israel-Hamas War.

Tensions were already high at USC after the university canceled a planned commencement speech by the school’s pro-Palestinian valedictorian, citing safety concerns. After scuffles with police early Wednesday, a few dozen demonstrators standing in a circle with locked arms were detained one by one without incident later in the evening.

University of Texas at Austin 

Earlier Wednesday, officers at the University of Texas at Austin aggressively detained dozens.


University of Texas Palestine protest leads to more than 30 arrests, including FOX 7 photographer

More than 30 people were arrested, including a FOX 7 Austin photographer, by law enforcement on the University of Texas at Austin campus on Wednesday, April 24 during protests.

Hundreds of local and state police — including some on horseback and holding batons — bulldozed into protesters, at one point sending some tumbling into the street. Officers pushed their way into the crowd and made 34 arrests at the behest of the university and Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott, according to the state Department of Public Safety.

California State Polytechnic University

Students at California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt, were barricaded inside a building for a third day, and the school shut down campus through the weekend and made classes virtual.

Harvard University

Harvard University in Massachusetts had sought to stay ahead of protests this week by limiting access to Harvard Yard and requiring permission for tents and tables. 

That didn't stop protesters from setting up a camp with 14 tents Wednesday following a rally against the university’s suspension of the Harvard Undergraduate Palestine Solidarity Committee.

The Associated Press wire services helped contribute to this report.