Columbia University: Protesters lay siege at Hamilton Hall linked to 1968 agitation, rename it ‘Hind’s Hall' - Hindustan Times
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Columbia University: Protesters lay siege at Hamilton Hall linked to 1968 agitation, rename it ‘Hind’s Hall'

Apr 30, 2024 11:41 AM IST

Understand the significance of Hamilton Hall in Columbia University at protesters occupy it after talks with authorities failed.

Chaos and anarchy have descended upon Columbia University after President Nemat Minouche Shafik refused to capitulate to protesters' demands and cracked down on ongoing protests. Columbia has stated that it will not divest Israel ties.

Columbia University protesters have locked themselves inside Hamilton Hall and renamed it Hind's Hall
Columbia University protesters have locked themselves inside Hamilton Hall and renamed it Hind's Hall

Also Read: Harvard students fly Palestinian flag in spot reserved for American flag

Latest reports coming in from the college campus suggest that protesting students have now laid siege at Hamilton Hall at Columbia University. They have also unfurled a Palestinian flag out of the window.

“This time, students and community have deployed a multi-level occupation of Hamilton Hall: barricading themselves inside the building, bolting and tying the doors, and renaming it Hind's Hall in honor of Hind Rajab, and in honor of all of our martyrs. We affirm that we will not cower to Columbia's threats, and that we will continue to escalate until divestment is met..

All hell broke loose after University President Nemat Minouche Shafik said in a statement that days of negotiations between student organizers and academic leaders had failed and asked demonstrators to leave encampments.

The crackdown at Columbia, at the center of Gaza-related protests roiling university campuses across the U.S. in recent weeks, occurred as police at the University of Texas at Austin arrested dozens of students whom they doused with pepper spray at a pro-Palestinian rally.

Also Read: Columbia Uni suspends pro-Palestinian protesters amid stalemate

What's the significance of Hamilton Hall?

During the 1968 protests at Columbia University, Hamilton Hall served as a focal point and symbol of student activism. Situated in the heart of the Morningside Heights campus, the building became a site of intense demonstrations and occupations by students protesting against the university's involvement in Vietnam War via military research and its expansion into neighboring Harlem communities.

Also Read: Who is Khymani James? Columbia bars protester over 'murdering Zionists' remarks

The protests, which culminated in the occupation of several campus buildings including Hamilton Hall, marked a pivotal moment in the history of student activism and civil rights movements in the United States. The occupation of Hamilton Hall and subsequent negotiations between student protesters and university administrators brought national attention to issues of academic freedom, racial equality, and the role of universities in society.

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