Columbia student recounts having a ‘front row seat to the madness’ of anti-Israel protests

Anti-Israel protests erupted at Columbia University over several days, which lead to over 100 arrestsColumbia University was the epicenter of the latest string of pro-Palestine protests erupting in New York City. Despite mass arrests, students and ant-Israel agitators continued with their "shocking" display.

One part-time Columbia University student argued the ordeal illustrates how the post-October 7 "craziness" has reached a "fever pitch."

"I really think this post-October 7 craziness on campus is really reaching a new level in the fever pitch," New York Post columnist Rikki Schlott said on "Fox & Friends Weekend" Saturday.


"I would never have imagined that I would watch NYPD officers in literal riot gear need to break up hundreds of Columbia students who are willfully getting arrested in support of of Palestine and in support of, I think, a cause that they really clearly don't fully understand."

Schlott, who is in her first semester at Columbia, had a "front row seat to the madness" that unfolded on Thursday and Friday.

Like many Ivy League college campuses, Columbia University has seen numerous pro-Palestinian protests sprout since Oct. 7. The demonstrations have gotten more intense as Israel continues to conduct its military offensive in the Gaza Strip against Hamas.

Rise of anti-Israel protests has started ‘almost precisely’ the same way BLM did: Jason RantzVideo

Dozens of protesters camped out in tents on school grounds since early Wednesday, calling on the university to divest itself from companies that have ties to Israel, as Shafik testified on Capitol Hill.

The university had locked down its campus to ID holders only in anticipation of unrest relating to Shafik's testimony.

On Thursday, demonstrators set up the "Gaza Solidarity Encampment" on a campus lawn just hours before the university President Minouche Shafik testified before the House Committee on Education and the Workforce regarding antisemitism on campus. 


"Basically what the demands supposedly are of the encampment are that they would like the university to divest any of its investments in Israel through its endowment. And they were saying that they're not going to leave until that happens," Schlott explained. 

Schlott also gave credit to the NYPD, who was eventually invited to the university by Shafik and began arresting several protesters.

In total, 108 people were arrested and given a summons for trespassing, the New York Police Department (NYPD) said during an early evening press conference. Two people were additionally given a summons for obstruction of governmental administration. 

NYPD officers noted that many of the protesters were peaceful and didn't resist arrest. However, around 500 students left their classrooms and told officers they were the "KKK," "baby killers" and to "go kill ourselves," a police official said. 

Anti-Israel protesters at Columbia University remain silent on demandsVideo

Unfazed by Thursday’s mass arrests, protests continued at Columbia University on Friday and a large police presence — with officers in riot gear — was reported.

Schlott did differentiate between outside protesters and Columbia students, claiming outside agitators were "more aggressive" and "more radical."

"[Columbia] did shut off the actual campus to anyone who didn't have an ID, so it was students only, which is why I was able to get in. And I would say that actually the protesters outside, including the one who shouted, 'we are Hamas,' who is presumably not a student, in my view and in my experience, were a lot more aggressive and a lot more radical than the students inside," she said

Over the several days of protests, Schlott said she heard demonstrators shout "Intifada," "we are Hamas," "Divulge, Divest," and others.

"Students were trespassing and were clearly in violation of school rules, were being arrested. I saw Lesbians for Liberation, which is really a rich one, considering that it seems like these students don't really understand how LGBTQ people are treated in Palestine," the part-time student said. 

Schlott said, although prepared from her previous attendance at NYU, said the protests were "shocking."

A Columbia University spokesperson previously told Fox News Digital: "While the encampment has been dismantled, our community has had protest activity on campus since October, and we expect that activity to continue." 

The spokesperson continued, "We have rules regarding the time, place, and manner that apply to protest activity and we will continue to enforce those. We remain in regular contact with our students and student groups and are committed to ensuring the core functions of the University continue."

Fox News Digital also reached out to Columbia on Saturday for a comment. 

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