Pro-Palestinian protestors take over a building at Columbia University

April 30 – In a story that’s still unfolding, students at Columbia University in Manhattan, New York, took over an administration building early this morning as part of the country-wide college protests over the war in the Middle East. 

The students were supporting Palestine and barricaded themselves inside. 

A tent city has been set up on campus for the last few days in protest of the war, but the takeover of the building was a new effort. 

PA Congressman Dan Meuser said, “They want to be called anarchists, but really what they are is they’re simply criminals engaged in destruction.”

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM said, “I like that guy. He’s spot on, if you will. These students need to once they’ve gone through the process, need to be expelled, need to be exposed, need to have their little masks taken off their little faces and pay the price for going well beyond a simple peaceful protest. Don’t fall for this. It looks like according to some new polling, these idiots are coming down on the wrong side. Polling out says no, we’re not going to see this again. We saw it in 2020 and we’re not looking at riots 2.0 and another narrative out of the far left extreme here.” 

Attorney Clint Barkdoll noted, “Some of these people need to be arrested. I mean, they’ve occupied this building now on the campus at Columbia, clearly illegal. It’s not clear what Colombia is going to do today.”

Yesterday, Columbia administration gave the students a deadline of 2 p.m. to get out of the encampment.

Barkdoll said, “They also said if you’re not out of here, you face suspension and we’re not reinstating you into the school and this will be on your academic record. I thought that was pretty good leverage that the school may have exercised there to get these kids out of there, knowing of course, this is a university that costs upwards of $70,000, $80,000 a year to be there. Well, that announcement did not deter most of these people. Not only did they stay, but as the day went on, they commandeered this building on campus. Not clear where this goes today. You continue to see calls should the National Guard come in? Should other law enforcement just come in, round these people up, do a mass arrest and clear them out? That is an option that’s on the table today. This group, these protesters they have designated reps that are apparently in talks with university administrators and of course a lot of critics say why even talk to them? What’s there to negotiate? Just get them out of there. This is bubbling up all over the country.”

About 50 people were arrested at the University of Florida last night where a number of people had an on-campus sit in. 

Barkdoll pointed out, “The one silver lining if you’re a college administrator, these colleges largely are shutting down this week and next week, they’re out for the summer. So that may be a reason that a lot of these students would naturally disperse, but yet it seems like at these New York and Ivy League schools the problem could be getting worse in the meantime.”

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM said, “I kind of found it funny when the guy said they call themselves anarchists, but they’re really just criminals. Let’s just for the fun of it, let’s give the Wikipedia definition of anarchism:  ‘the political philosophy and movement that is against all forms of authority.’ Hmm, seems like that’s true. ‘And seeks to abolish the institutions.’ Check. ‘Its claims maintain unnecessary coercion and hierarchy, typically including the state and capitalism.’ Check. ‘Anarchism advocates for the replacement of the state with a stateless society.’ Check. This is the underlying philosophy behind these students. That’s the other problem, these aren’t just students. These are outsiders coming in to help the students do this. Bringing the tents and we’re finding people who don’t belong on the campus. They’re older people and it’s being funded by a lot of dark money. It’s being funded by Carnegie and Rockefeller foundations and by George Soros and that’s not just me saying that. That’s been proven. He’s given about $15 million because these anti Israel groups have been around for a decade. But honestly, it’s not about as much anti semitism against the ethnicity as it’s exactly against anti Israel, which they tie into anti America, which they tie into the anti oppressor colonist type of attitude. This, I’m afraid, will be another repeat of BLM unless people stand up. We see Colombia not standing up, not calling in for police to really help as much as they should. We see other institutions doing the same thing. We see the heads of these institutions just backing off and quote, unquote, negotiating with these people. This is ridiculous. This is exactly why we don’t want to have a repeat of 2020 and before that, but I think that’s what they’re seeking. Isn’t it ironic, it’s always a presidential year and I think they’re more about disruption as well as trying to maybe coerce some of the outcome of our election.”

Barkdoll said, “Well, today will be a key day at Columbia. Do they bring in police, law enforcement to clean out that building? They certainly can’t allow students to be illegally occupying a campus building. It’s one thing when they were outside, but now they’ve taken over a building. I think that’s at a different level.”

What do the protesters want?

Barkdoll explained, “The reporting is they want the universities to divest their endowments from any investments in Israel. Well, the problem is, these are private institutions, the endowments, the public is not privy to how that money is invested and there’s frankly no way that these protesters could prove or disprove if money is tied to Israeli investments, and that’s the other irony of this. They seem to be asking for relief that would be impossible to prove, or verify anyway. Politically, I don’t know where this goes. I mean, I actually think this hurts Joe Biden. These protesters may feel that they’re somehow helping the Democratic cause. Roughly three out of four Americans support Israel and the efforts Israel is making to oust and eliminate Hamas. So if that polling is correct, these protesters are clearly in a distinct minority in their position, and I think it does actually put Biden in an awkward situation to the extent that at some point he may have to address these protests that are happening all over the country. I think if you’re a voter, it’s probably not something that you’re going to be turned on. If you’re on the fence, this isn’t the kind of thing that’s going to push you more to Biden.” 

Ryan said, “As you mentioned, maybe the universities are letting it roll and let the school year finish off. So think about that. One, two punches here. Where are these idiots going to go? They’re coming back home, number one. So not only do you have the southern border and the mass of humanity that continues to come across the unchecked border that nobody continues to talk about, nobody wants to solve, even though the president who had the power in the beginning and he made a mess of the southern border. Now you’ve got that going combined with heat, combined with the where are these young people going to go and that extra funding from George and the dark money here?”

Gary Baumgarten with Fox News said, “Demonstrations erupting on college campuses across the nation are getting a lot of attention. But the protesters’ viewpoints are out of step with most of the rest of the nation. That, the conclusion of a Harvard CAPS/Harris survey, which finds that Americans support Israel and its war against Hamas by a four to one margin and more than 70% of us support an Israeli military operation in the Gaza City of Rafah.” 

Jansen said, “Talking about the survey and talking about how they want them to divest, that’s all the excuse guys. It’s the narrative that’s being set up. Did you hear the definition of anarchism? It doesn’t matter whether they divest or not, it doesn’t matter what the survey said. Remember the surveys in 2020? Everybody supports the police. What’s wrong with you? People, by and large, support our police. We’re creating a narrative and the narrative will keep being pounded that there’s something wrong with Israel, with America, with authority. You have to pound that all into the ground. So those are just excuses. Yes, the surveys show that most don’t support it. It doesn’t matter. They’re going to keep pounding this narrative.”

Barkdoll said, “I do want to give credit to Judge Jones, the president at Dickinson College. Dickinson is having some of these things start to happen on their campus in Carlisle, not far from us. I thought yesterday he very appropriately said, if people want to civilly protest on our campus, that’s fine. That’s what college is about. But he was also very clear we’re not going to cancel the commencement. We’re not going to let anyone interrupt final exams or other activities on campus and if that happens, there’s where these protesters are going to have consequences. I think that’s the message that colleges should be sending, but clearly at these Ivy League schools that we’re seeing in New York, and what happened yesterday in Florida, University of Texas had a big problem. The administrations have let these groups just get out of control. They needed to step in from square one to enforce this. But now they’ve gotten so large that it’s maybe out of control. That’s why I think today is very key, particularly at Columbia, because this is the first protest on all these campuses, where these groups have actually taken over one of the university buildings. So what does Columbia do about that today?”