News Release

Columbia University Scolds Students for “Unsanctioned” Gaza Rally Where They Were Attacked With Chemicals


A reporter for The Intercept, Thakker just wrote the piece “Columbia University Scolds Students for ‘Unsanctioned’ Gaza Rally Where They Were Attacked With Chemicals,” which states: “Administrators at Columbia University responded to reports of students being injured by a chemical attack against an on-campus rally for Gaza by chiding students for holding protests without official authorization. Meanwhile, students told The Intercept that even as the school’s public safety department has said it is investigating the incident, school administrators themselves have yet to contact the victims — some of whom have had to seek medical care for their injuries.

“During a rally on Friday, according to attendees, two individuals sprayed a hazardous chemical that released an odious smell. Dozens of students have reported an array of symptoms, such as burning eyes, nausea, headaches, abdominal and chest pain, and vomiting. …

“The incident marks the latest escalation against students protesting for Palestinian rights at Columbia. Last semester, the university suspended the student groups Jewish Voice for Peace, or JVP, and SJP [Students for Justice in Palestine] for holding an ‘unauthorized event’ (a walkout and art display in support of a ceasefire). More broadly, students at campuses across the country have been met with university discipline and even criminal charges as they have called for their universities to divest from companies with ties to Israel’s military — or at least for their universities to have public meetings about their investments.”

See related IPA news releases.