Columbia protesters taken into custody after police enter campus—CBS News

Spread the love

by Thalif Deen

At a press conference last Tuesday night, New York City Mayor and his Police Commissioner tried to justify police intervention against pro-Palestinian demonstrators at Columbia University claiming the protests have been corrupted by “outside agitators.”

I think this is a steaming pile of horse shit (forget bulls).

Last Saturday, I visited the site. The entire campus was on a locked-down mode. Of the seven or eight entrances and exits, only one was open, with several security officers standing by. Only current students, academics —and the press– were allowed in. The security checks were tight.

How “outside agitators” infiltrated the campus beats me—unless they parachuted or were air-dropped on the sprawling campus.? Like American food drops in Gaza.

I noticed the only press pass valid was the New York city press pass issued in collaboration with the New York Police Department (NYPD) — although I was also armed with the UN press pass, the US State Department press ID and my Columbia student ID of a bygone era.

The 80 tents brought back memories because they occupied the huge lawn opposite the Journalism School. I still remember a creative sign on that lawn back in my student days: “IF ALLOWED TO GROW, THIS GRASS WILL PRODUCE ENOUGH OXYGEN FOR TWO STUDENTS TO BREATHE FOR ONE SEMESTER”.


(The writer, a former journalist on the old Ceylon Observer, was a Fulbright student at the Columbia School of Journalism in the seventies. He worked in Hong Kong for about a year before returning to the U.S. where he lives and has long headed the UN Bureau of the Inter Press Service (IPS).)

Post Disclaimer

Disclaimer: Columbia protesters taken into custody after police enter campus—CBS News - Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect point-of-view

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *