Columbia University students defy expulsion threats, rename building in Gaza solidarity protest

The decision to occupy Hamilton Hall came after the university began suspending students who ignored the deadline to vacate the encampment.

Students at Columbia University in New York have taken their protest to the next level, defying expulsion threats as they continue their occupation of Hamilton Hall. The university’s management had issued ultimatums, warning students to abandon their Gaza Solidarity encampment on campus. However, instead of dispersing, students chose to barricade themselves inside Hamilton Hall.

The decision to occupy Hamilton Hall came after the university began suspending students who ignored the deadline to vacate the encampment. In a bold move, the occupying students unfurled a banner inside the building, renaming it “Hind’s Hall” in memory of Hind Rajab, a six-year-old Palestinian girl killed by Israeli forces, along with several family members, in the Gaza Strip in January.

The protest has garnered widespread attention, with students demanding that Columbia University divest from companies allegedly involved in human rights abuses against Palestinians. The occupation of Hamilton Hall marks the latest escalation in the ongoing Gaza Solidarity protest, which has gained momentum on college campuses across the United States.

Speaking to reporters from inside Hind’s Hall, one of the student organizers stated, that would not be silenced, and shall not back down until Columbia University takes concrete action to make their presence in solidarity with Gaza.”

The university administration has yet to comment on the renaming of Hamilton Hall or the ongoing protest. However, students remain resolute in their demands for divestment and justice for the Palestinian people. As tensions continue to rise, all eyes are on Columbia University to see how they will respond to this unprecedented act of defiance.