Anti-Israel protest mob forces Columbia University to lock down campus buildings

A mob broke into iconic Hamilton Hall, barricading doors and smashing windows. The university pledged to provide updates on any additional changes to campus access throughout the day.

Anti-Israel protest mob forces Columbia University to lock down campus buildings
The Washington Post/Getty Images
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Columbia University has been compelled to lock down its buildings indefinitely after a mob of anti-Israel protesters stormed the iconic Hamilton Hall early Tuesday morning, barricading doors and causing significant damage.

In a statement released hours after the incident, the university announced access to the building would remain closed "until circumstances allow otherwise."

The university has restricted access to the Morningside campus to students residing in on-campus residential buildings and employees who provide essential services. The statement emphasized the safety of every community member is "paramount" and thanked the community for their "patience, cooperation and understanding" during the current crisis, Fox News reported.

Access to the campus has been limited to a single entry point at 116th Street and Amsterdam gate, with all other entry points closed. Security personnel will remain at the Wien Gate to accommodate individuals requiring disability access to Wien Hall and East Campus.

The lockdown came in response to an unruly mob of protesters, leftists opposed to the existence of Israel, breaking into Hamilton Hall shortly before 1 a.m.

Columbia initially confirmed the escalation and urged students and faculty members to avoid traveling to campus. The university pledged to provide updates on any additional changes to campus access throughout the day.

Once inside Hamilton Hall, the mob began "moving metal gates to barricade the doors, blocking entrances with wooden tables and chairs, and zip-tying doors shut," according to the student newspaper Columbia Spectator.

Footage of the insurrection showed protesters smashing windows, unfurling a Palestinian flag over a window, and chanting slogans such as "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free" and "Palestine will live forever."

Outside Hamilton Hall, the protesters formed a human barricade by linking their arms and vowing to remain until the university meets their three demands: divestment from financial support of Israel, increased transparency in investments, and blanket amnesty for the protesting students.

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