Violence erupts and hundreds arrested as college protests continue; Columbia, UCLA and more cancel classes

Pro-Palestinian protesters gathered at an encampment at the University of California^ Los Angeles (UCLA)^ on Friday^ April 26^ 2024^ in Los Angeles.

College protests continued across the country, resulting in escalating violence between pro-Palestinian encampments and counter-protesters. The movement calling for universities to divest financial support for Israel, which has affected dozens of campuses across America, has gone on for over two weeks now. Hundreds of arrests have been made and skirmishes have broken out between police and demonstrators, causing graduation ceremonies to be canceled, and universities forced to switch to remote learning, with access to campuses being restricted.

The Los Angeles Police Department said it has bene responding to UCLA at the ‘university’s request’ due to multiple acts of violence, with the university cancelling all classes until further notice.  Protest encampments at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Yale University and the University of Connecticut were also cleared out as of Tuesday, but encampments remain at more than 40 colleges nationwide.

At The City College of New York and Columbia University, the NYPD made at least 282 arrests, stemming from the breach of special police units at the now-occupied Hamilton Hall. Columbia has asked police to maintain a presence on campus until May 17, two days after commencement. The school said on Wednesday afternoon that all academic activities, including finals, for schools on the Morningside Heights campus will be fully remote for the remainder of the semester.  New York Mayor Eric Adams said in a briefing that while some students were involved in the occupation of Hamilton Hall at Columbia, they were “led by individuals not affiliated with the university.”

Editorial credit: Ringo Chiu /