Columbia Protest Leader Sparks Mockery for Demanding 'Humanitarian Aid' During Building Takeover

Pro-Palestinian protest at Columbia University sparks outrage as activists demand "humanitarian aid" while occupying campus building, drawing criticism and mockery on social media.

Shivani Chauhan
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Columbia Protest Leader Sparks Mockery for Demanding 'Humanitarian Aid' During Building Takeover

Columbia University Protesters Spark Mockery for Demanding 'Humanitarian Aid' During Building Takeover

A pro-Palestinian protest and building takeover at Columbia University led by PhD student Johannah King-Slutsky has gone viral, with the activist demanding "humanitarian aid" to prevent barricaded students from dying of "dehydration and starvation." King-Slutsky's plea has sparked widespread mockery on social media.

The protesters seized Hamilton Hall, an administration building, and prevented a worker from leaving. During a press conference, King-Slutsky defended the protesters' requests for food and water, claiming the university should allow basic supplies to be brought to the protesters occupying the building. However, an incredulous reporter questioned whether the protesters had deliberately put themselves in that situation, asking if they were "asking to be revolutionaries" while also requesting supplies.

King-Slutsky initially claimed the protesters were not asking for anything, but later admitted they were seeking a commitment that supplies would be allowed into the building. The protest organizer Sueda Polat, a graduate student, also complained about the campus lockdown and threatened that more students would resist if the school acted like an "authoritarian police state."

The protesters cited the fact that students had paid for the university's meal plan as a reason to demand food and drink while illegally occupying campus property. Critics on social media described the protesters' demands as "leftist whining" and compared their actions to the Siege of Leningrad.

Why this matters: The Columbia University protest highlights the ongoing tensions between pro-Palestinian activists and university administrators. The protesters' demands for amnesty and food/water deliveries while illegally occupying a campus building have drawn criticism and mockery, with some suggesting the activists are "in way over their heads."

After negotiations broke down, the New York Police Department was eventually called in to remove the activists from Hamilton Hall, despite the university's previous pledge not to use the NYPD again. The university has threatened to expel students involved in the building takeover, while House Republicans have called on the university president to restore order and protect Jewish students. The Biden administration has also condemned the lawlessness and antisemitism on college campuses, with the Education Secretary warning that universities failing to address the situation risk losing federal funding.

Key Takeaways

  • Pro-Palestinian protest led by PhD student at Columbia University went viral.
  • Protesters seized campus building, demanded "humanitarian aid" to prevent starvation.
  • Protest sparked widespread mockery, with critics comparing it to Siege of Leningrad.
  • NYPD removed protesters after negotiations broke down, university threatens expulsions.
  • Biden administration condemned the lawlessness and antisemitism on college campuses.