NYC Mayor decries 'outside agitators' in Columbia protest crackdown

Over 100 protesters were arrested as NYPD officers cleared the Columbia University campus of a 'destructive mob' in a major operation.

NYC Mayor decries 'outside agitators' in Columbia protest crackdown
AP Photo/Craig Ruttle
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Mayor Eric Adams sounded the alarm on Wednesday over "outside agitators" who he claimed had infiltrated Columbia University's campus to radicalize students, as more than 100 protesters were arrested during a massive police operation to clear a pro-Palestinian demonstration that had illegally occupied a campus building.

Adams stated "professionals" with a history of inciting chaos had descended on the Ivy League institution, fueling unrest among the student ranks.

The mayor's remarks came as the New York Police Department (NYPD) arrested 109 individuals at Columbia after being called in by the university to remove a "destructive mob" that had barricaded itself inside Hamilton Hall late Tuesday, the New York Post reports.

"There were individuals on the campus who should not have been there. They were people who are professionals and we saw evidence of training," Adams asserted, suggesting the presence of outside agitators skilled in fomenting discord.

The mayor further cautioned against dismissing the influence of these elements, even if they constituted a minority. "You don't have to be the majority to influence and co-opt an operation. That is what this about," he said, vowing to curb the radicalization of young people in the city.

Separately, the NYPD reported 173 arrests during related protests at the City College of New York campus overnight. Preliminary charges from both incidents range from trespassing and criminal mischief to burglary, according to police.

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