Student protesters occupied Hamilton Hall around 12:30 am on Tuesday, April 30. This comes after negotiations between the University and student organizers ceased. Read live updates here.

Content warning: violence

Update made on Wednesday, May 1 at 12:38 am:

Public Safety announced that the University will be restricted as it was yesterday; students residing in John Jay, Hartley, Wallach, East Campus, Furnald, Carman, and Wien will have access to the main Columbia campus. All other students will not. Only the gate at 116th Street and Amsterdam will be open for exit and entry.

Update made on Wednesday, May 1 at 12:33 am:

As of 11:39 pm, NYPD officers still surrounded the lawns, the area around Hamilton, and the residential half of the Morningside campus. 

Around 11:44 pm, Bwog witnessed the tents being cleared out of the West Lawn. People wearing vests that read “Mamais” put the tents into trash bags as they cleared the lawn. 

At 11:47 pm, an alert from Columbia’s Emergency Management Operations Team stated, “Heightened activity on Morningside campus concluded. Area is all clear at this time.” 

Meanwhile, the area in front of Hamilton Hall is all but deserted. Piles of deserted chairs, tents, and posters lay about, while NYPD officers stand in front of Hartley Hall. The glass of additional Hamilton Hall entrance doors are now smashed. Barricade materials are strung about, while the banner reading “Hind’s Hall” still hangs.

Lewisohn Lawn, which had been occupied by over a dozen tents as of yesterday, has now been emptied. NYPD officers are also stationed outside student residential brownstones on 114th Street.

Update made on Tuesday, April 30 at 11:45 pm:

As of 11:05 pm, students on 114th Street were allowed to return to their homes, while those who lived in the Morningside campus were not. Bwog also received news that some students had been prevented from leaving their residential buildings on 114th Street. 

Arrested individuals are reportedly being transported to One Police Plaza. 

Bwog has asked the NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Public Information (DCPI) office about the number of individuals arrested this evening. They stated they will have the number tomorrow.

Update made on Tuesday, April 30 at 11:07 pm:

At 10:53 pm, Bwog reported that more NYPD were approaching Amsterdam and 116th. Five minutes later, Bwog spotted a New York City Fire Department (FDNY) vehicle parked on 114th and Amsterdam. The driver exited the vehicle shortly after and joined a group of police officers standing near the north barricade at the intersection.

Update made on Tuesday, April 30 at 10:55 pm:

Content warning: violence

Around 9:50 pm, Columbia Apartheid Divest (CUAD) posted to their Instagram a video of protesters being taken out of the Carmen gates, many with their hands tied, and loaded onto NYPD correctional buses parked on 114th. Observers recorded the interactions, shouting “shame” and one observer shouting “Get your hands off them.”

Bwog reported that the last correctional bus left campus around 10:16 pm.

At 10:22 pm, Columbia University Apartheid Divest (CUAD) posted to their Instagram account multiple videos of a protester being thrown down the stairs, allegedly by an NYPD officer. In their caption, CUAD claims that “protesters inside [Hamilton Hall] were brutalized.”

Bwog has received news from multiple sources that the NYPD forced people standing on the Law Bridge to leave around 10:30 pm. Around that same time, arrested protesters were seen being brought from campus onto Amsterdam as other protesters and observers chanted “Let them go.” 

At around 10:37 pm, Bwog reported that police at 114th and Amsterdam were moving barricades further South. They appeared to be going to block off the northbound access at 113th and Broadway. At the same time, police vans, trucks, and cars were seen driving from Broadway onto College Walk. 

Update made on Tuesday, April 30 at 10:15 pm:

Police activity

At 9:52 pm, Bwog witnessed a first correctional bus filled with arrested students drive away from campus on 114th Street and Amsterdam. 

At 10:08 pm, Bwog witnessed Legal Observers attempting to enter 114th and Amsterdam. 

At 10:10 pm, Bwog reported that around 60 riot NYPD officers were heading towards 114th and Amsterdam. Meanwhile, protesters chanted, “You support genocide.”

President Shafik Email to Deputy Commissioner Gerber

President Shafik has publicly released her letter to the NYPD Deputy Commissioner Michael Gerber which was attached to the original 9:26 pm statement from a University spokesperson, announcing the NYPD’s presence on campus. 

Shafik cited “serious safety concerns” after the occupation of Hamilton Hall in the early hours of April 30, and the involvement of non-affiliate protesters in said occupation, as reasoning for calling on the NYPD. 

The letter stated, “With the utmost regret, we request the NYPD’s help to clear all individuals from Hamilton Hall and all campus encampments,” and allowed the NYPD to use LRAD, a Long Range Acoustic Device, to disperse individuals, writing that “the events on campus last night have left us no choice.”

Notably, the letter also detailed a request for the NYPD to maintain their presence on campus “through at least May 17th” to “maintain order and ensure encampments are not reestablished.”

The letter concluded by stating that Columbia “is committed to allowing members of our community to engage in political expression – within established rules and with respect for the safety of all.” It further added that the policies put in place regarding demonstrations are “to support both the right to expression and the safety and functioning of our University.”

Letter sent from President Minouche Shafik to NYPD Deputy Commissioner Michael Gerber on April 30, 2024: 

Dear Deputy Commissioner Gerber,

I write with regard to the unrest on Columbia’s campus. 

As we have discussed, in the early morning of April 30, 2024 a group of individuals entered Hamilton Hall for the purpose of occupying the building. The building was closed at the time the students entered. An individual hid in the building until after it closed and let the other individuals in. There were two security guards inside. We were able to secure their release. We believe that while the group who broke into the building includes students, it is led by individuals who are not affiliated with the University. The individuals who have occupied Hamilton Hall have vandalized University property and are trespassing.

In addition, we have had a continuing encampment on the West Lawn of the Morningside campus since Friday, April 19, 2024. Last night an additional encampment appeared on the Math Lawn. 

After more than a week of discussions with representatives of the group engaged in the West Lawn encampment, we reached an impasse on Sunday, April 28, 2024. The group was informed that they are not permitted to occupy spaces on campus, are in violation of the University’s rules and policies and must disperse. All University students in the West Lawn encampment were informed Monday morning that they would be suspended if they did not disperse by 2:00pm Monday and that participation in other campus encampments was prohibited. At this time, all participants in the encampments are suspended, not authorized to be on University property and are trespassing. 

The takeover of Hamilton Hall and the continued encampments raise serious safety concerns for the individuals involved and the entire community. The actions of these individuals are unfortunately escalating. These activities have become a magnet for protesters outside our gates which creates significant risk to our campus and disrupts the ability of the University to continue normal operations. 

The events on campus last night have left us no choice. With the support of the University’s Trustees, I have determined that the building occupation, the encampments, and related disruptions pose a clear and present danger to persons, property, and the substantial functioning of the University and require the use of emergency authority to protect persons and property.

With the utmost regret, we request the NYPD’s help to clear all individuals from Hamilton Hall and all campus encampments. As part of this process, we understand that the NYPD plans to use its LRAD technology to inform participants in the encampments that they must disperse.

In light of the activities that occurred after the events of April 17-18, 2024, we further request that you retain a presence on campus through at least May 17, 2024 to maintain order and ensure encampments are not reestablished.

We trust that you will take care and caution when removing any individual from our campus. The

safety and security of our community is our highest priority, especially for our students. We appreciate your commitment to assist us in a peaceful and respectful manner at this difficult time.

Columbia is committed to allowing members of our community to engage in political expression – within established rules and with respect for the safety of all. The policies we have in place around demonstrations are in place to support both the right to expression and the safety and functioning of our University.

Thank you for your assistance with this very challenging situation.


Minouche Shafik

Update made on Tuesday, April 30 at 9:51 pm:

At 9:35, another wave of NYPD officers headed for Hamilton Hall. 

As of 9:36 pm, press and protesters on College Walk were blocked by NYPD officers from approaching Hamilton Hall. At the same time, arrested protesters began being removed from Hamilton by the NYPD as a fire alarm started going off in the building. Individuals in the area shouted “Shame” and chanted “Free Palestine” as the NYPD brought arrested students out. 

At 9:37 pm, Bwog witnessed NYPD officers carrying a student who appeared to be unable to walk by themselves. At 9:38 pm, Bwog confirmed with medics nearby that an unconscious student was seen near Hamilton Hall. 

At 9:26 pm, Columbia University Communications published a campus update explaining recent events and the administration’s decision to bring NYPD onto campus in light of the occupation of Hamilton Hall, after telling the Columbia community in previous statements that NYPD would not be brought onto campus. 

Update by a Columbia spokesperson published at 9:26 pm: 

A little after 9 p.m. this evening, the NYPD arrived on campus at the University’s request. This decision was made to restore safety and order to our community.

We regret that protesters have chosen to escalate the situation through their actions. After the University learned overnight that Hamilton Hall had been occupied, vandalized, and blockaded, we were left with no choice. Columbia public safety personnel were forced out of the building, and a member of our facilities team was threatened. We will not risk the safety of our community or the potential for further escalation. 

The leadership team, including the Board of Trustees, met throughout the night and into the early morning, consulting with security experts and law enforcement to determine the best plan to protect our students and the entire Columbia community. We made the decision, early in the morning, that this was a law enforcement matter, and that the NYPD were best positioned to determine and execute an appropriate response.  

We believe that the group that broke into and occupied the building is led by individuals who are not affiliated with the University.  Sadly, this dangerous decision followed more than a week of what had been productive discussions with representatives of the West Lawn encampment.  

We severely curtailed the number of people on Morningside campus starting Tuesday morning. Over the course of the day, we updated our community on access to campus buildings, and will continue to do so through the next few days. 

The decision to reach out to the NYPD was in response to the actions of the protesters, not the cause they are championing. We have made it clear that the life of campus cannot be endlessly interrupted by protesters who violate the rules and the law. 

Early Tuesday, protesters chose to escalate to an alarming and untenable situation – including by vandalizing property, breaking doors and windows, blockading entrances, and forcing our facilities and public safety workers out – and we are responding appropriately as we have long made clear we would. The safety of our community, especially our students, remains our top priority.

Update made on Tuesday, April 30 at 9:42 pm:

At 9:23 pm, Bwog reported protesters on College Walk chanting “Quit your job.” Meanwhile, protesters continued in the plaza outside of Hamilton. 

At 9:24 pm, Bwog and all other press were asked to leave the area. A line of police officers directed observers, protesters, medical staff, and press back from the area in front of Hamilton. Students in adjacent dorm buildings have reportedly been barricaded in their dorm buildings. 

At 9:26 pm, hundreds of NYPD officers entered through the Amsterdam and 116th gates. NYPD are using a large lift on 116th and Amsterdam to enter through a third floor window on Hamilton. Police are using sledgehammers to disband the barricades in front of Hamilton Hall. 

As of 9:30 pm, Bwog reported that there were no more members of the press in the area in front of Hamilton. 

As of 9:32 pm, Bwog spotted correctional buses driving down Broadway at 116th. They appeared to be headed down 114th toward Amsterdam. 

Update made on Tuesday, April 30 at 9:23 pm:

According to ABC News, New York City “has received authorization from Columbia University to send the NYPD onto campus.”

At around 9 pm, Bwog witnessed medical personnel being denied access to University buildings. It is unclear what type of medical personnel were denied. 

At 9:07 pm, Bwog reported NYPD officers arriving on campus through the gate between Butler Library and Carman Hall. By 9:09 pm, over 100 NYPD officers ushered on to campus. 

At 9:09 pm, Bwog reported NYPD Correctional buses on 113th and Amsterdam heading North. 

At 9:13 pm, Bwog witnessed legal observers being denied access to buildings and past barricades. 

At 9:16 pm, Bwog reported that NYPD were moving bystanders outside of Hamilton Hall out of the way.

At around 9:18 pm, the NYPD began arresting the protesters linking arms in front of Hamilton. At the same time, NYPD entered the Encampment on the West Lawn, shining flashlights into tents and taking them apart.

Update made on Tuesday, April 30 at 9:18 pm:

Around 8:50 pm it was reported that NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Public Information (DCPI) staff had arrived between 113th and 114th on Broadway. It was also reported that ACLU protest monitors were present at the scene; they have been present since at least 7 pm. 

At around 8:55 a protester holding a sign that read “Stand and Defend with Columbia Encampment protesters, The Revcoms,” was spotted, referring to the Revolutionary Communist Party, an American political party.

At about 8:45 pm, CNN reported that Columbia is expected “to send a letter in 1-2 hours asking to clear protesters,” per a statement from a “law enforcement official.”

At 8:55 pm, NYPD were reported at John Jay gates. 

At 9 pm, Bwog reported that the NYPD began clearing out Amsterdam of protesters, threatening arrest if they interfere with police activity. 

Update made on Tuesday, April 30 at 8:45 pm:

Barnard CARES notification

At 8:30 pm, Barnard CARES released a notification that the main Barnard gate on 117th and Broadway is closed. 10 minutes later at 8:40 pm, another notification was sent, stating: “Police Activity shelter in place.” 

CC and SEAS Dean emails

Also at 8:30 pm, Dean Josef Sorett and Dean Shih-Fu Chang emailed Columbia College and SEAS students, recommending that students “remain in your residence halls and avoid public areas on and off campus.” They also implore students to “take any updates from the University with the utmost seriousness.” 

Email sent to Columbia College and SEAS students from Deans Sorett and Chang at 8:31 pm: 

Dear Students,

As a challenging day on campus transitions into night, we recommend that you remain in your residence halls and avoid public areas on and off campus, particularly on South Campus and in the area surrounding Hamilton Hall. As indicated by the recent EMOT text sent to the entire community, please take any updates from the University with the utmost seriousness.

As Dean’s charged with your care and safety, we encourage each of you to consider the choices you and your peers make regarding your movements on and off campus amid the potential for additional protests activity. 

Please take care of yourselves, and look out for each other.

With care,

Josef Sorett

Dean of Columbia College

Shih-Fu Chang

Dean of Columbia Engineering

Update made on Tuesday, April 30 at 8:33 pm:

At about 8 pm, CUAD posted to their Instagram story requesting “mobiliz[ation],” stating that those who are “willing to risk arrest” should gather in front of Hamilton Hall, and that others should go to the Encampment, alleging that there was “no risk of arrest at camp.” Bwog cannot confirm or deny whether or not those at the Encampment will be at risk of arrest. 

As of 8:15 pm, NYPD are completely blocking off 114th and Broadway, instructing anyone in the vicinity that the area “is frozen” and to “go to 113th.” A cluster of around 40 NYPD officers in riot gear were congregated around the median on Broadway and 114th.  

At 8:20 pm, Columbia University Emergency Management Operations Team emailed the Columbia community the following message: “Shelter in place for your safety due to heightened activity on the Morningside campus. Non-compliance may result in disciplinary action. Avoid the area until further notice.”

At around 8:15 pm, CUAD posted on their Instagram an announcement of an imminent “NYPD sweep” at Hamilton Hall. The second post on the carousel is a video of protesters standing in front of Hamilton and linking arms, singing “your people are my people” and “where you go I will go my friend.” 

Update made on Tuesday, April 30 at 7:59 pm: Protest and NYPD activity

At around 6:15 pm, the NYPD began barricading Broadway and Amsterdam in front of Columbia’s campus, from 114th to 120th on Broadway and north of 114th on Amsterdam. Around 20 minutes later, the 116th Station was also barricaded by the NYPD, with 1 trains skipping the 116th stop going both downtown and uptown. The NYPD barricade eventually extended from the 110th to 120th blocks of Amsterdam. 

At 6:40 pm, the 116th Station was barricaded and both the uptown and downtown trains were reported to be skipping the station on Citymapper. Bwog was also informed by an anonymous resident on West 120th Street that their doorman was directed to lock the front doors of the building. Bwog has not been able to confirm these claims.

NYPD officers on 113th confirmed to Bwog that the barricades are a precautionary activity in order to minimize the amount of disruptions to traffic if protesters walked south. However, protesters moved north and were reported to be on 135th turning towards City College at 7:07 pm. 

At 7:17 pm, protesters were reported to be gathering in front of City College gates. Around that time, Bwog staff reported that cars were able to move north and southbound through Amsterdam Avenue.

As of 7:20 pm, Strategic Response Group (SRG) presence arrived. SRG officers armored vehicles headed toward campus, and police officers with zip ties. It is not confirmed if the heavy law enforcement presence is for outside protesters or student protesters.

As of around 7:30 pm, a group of about 50-60 protesters were gathered outside of the 116th and Amsterdam gates shouting, “Free free Palestine” and “Resistance is justified when people are occupied/colonized.”

At 7:35 pm, Bwog staff reported that 120th & Amsterdam was completely barricaded. NYPD was allowing students to exit but not enter, reported to be directing folks to 116th or 119th and Morningside for access.

At around 7:50 pm, Columbia University Apartheid Divest posted to their Instagram Story, claiming that “CCNY students have been violently assaulted and pepper sprayed by cops.”  

Update made on Tuesday, April 30 at 7:02 pm: Milstein Center early closing time

At 6:30 pm, Dean Leslie Grinage and Provost Linda A Bell sent an email to Barnard students stating that the Milstein Center will close at 7 pm tonight “in light of the unpredictability of events at Columbia.” The email states that the Diana Center “will remain open as normal” and that students will be updated if there are “further changes to the schedule.” As of now, the Milstein Library is set to reopen tomorrow at 9 am.

Update made on Tuesday, April 30 at 6:27 pm: Columbia press briefing

At 5 pm today, Ben Chang, Vice President of Communications and University spokesperson, held a 10-minute press briefing. He started by acknowledging the limited media access on campus for “serious public safety concerns,” before reiterating that the University’s priority is “restoring safety and order” on campus. He stated that they “regret” that the protesters have chosen to “escalate the situation,” referring to the occupation of Hamilton Hall and the extension of the Encampment to Lewinhson Hall in the early hours of Tuesday, April 30. “This is about responding to the actions of the protesters, not their cause,” he clarified, specifically alluding to protesters “vandalizing property, breaking doors and windows, and blockading entrances” to which they will face consequences such as suspension.

To “give a sense of scale,” Chang stated that despite having a student population of almost 37,000, there are only “dozens” in the Encampment and Hamilton Hall respectively. He argued that protests have created a “threatening environment for many, including [the] Jewish students and faculty, and a noisy distraction that interferes with teaching, learning, and preparing for final exams….contribut[ing] to a hostile environment in violation of Title VI.”

Chang restated the “opportunity” that was given to members of the Encampment to “leave peacefully” until April 29 at 2 pm, saying that students who “did not commit to the terms offered are suspended.”

“We are exploring options to restore safety order to our campus,” he concluded.

Update made on Tuesday, April 30 at 4:33 pm: Protests updates

Protests continue on Broadway and Amsterdam outside of the Columbia gates. Speakers are chanting through megaphones as a helicopter hovers above campus. Students also demonstrate outside of Hamilton Hall, with some bringing tents to the lawn in front of it.

Update made on Tuesday, April 30 at 4:26 pm:

In an Instagram statement, Columbia Housing Equity Project (HEP) reported that they are unable to enter Earl Hall to pick up items needed for their daily direct outreach to the local community. HEP is unable to pick up food, water, clothes, and toiletries; they typically rely on access to Earl Hall twice a day.

HEP stated, “Due to Columbia’s complete lack of support for vital organizations like HEP, folks living on the street will not have anything to eat… Clearly, supporting unhoused community members is not an ‘essential service.’”

Update made on Tuesday, April 30 at 4:05 pm:

Mayor Eric Adams said that he would continue to respect the decisions of New York City University presidents to “determine when they want police involvement, and when they ask us,” according to the New York Times. He also stated that if the police were requested, they would use “a minimum amount of force.” He then asserted that “we don’t need the National Guard,” and went on to praise the NYPD, saying they are “doing an amazing job.”

Update made on Tuesday, April 30 at 4:03 pm:

At around 3:27 pm, Columbia College Student Council (CCSC) and Engineering Student Council (ESC) announced in a post on Instagram that they will hold a dinner tonight, April 30, from 8:15 pm to 12 am to offer “student support during dining hall closures.” Students can grab dinner in the first floor lounge of Schapiro Hall. Pizza and Fumo pasta will be served, with gluten-free and vegan options available.

Update made on Tuesday, April 30 at 3:44 pm:

At 2 pm, two protests began—one in front of Hamilton Hall, the other on 116th and Broadway.

Hamilton Hall

In front of Hamilton Hall, the group of protesters shifted between about one to two dozen participants. The demonstrators are outnumbered by the press. A tarp covers the broken window on the far right door of Hamilton’s main entrance, while individuals occupying Hamilton Hall receive supplies via a basket and pulley system.

Protesters in front of Hamilton Hall began engaging in chants of “Free Palestine” leading up to a speech. “Our necessary escalation was as a response to the violence and repression from our administration,” a speaker stated, describing the occupation of Hamilton as a “siege.”

Last night, we saw a victory for the students who stand on the right side of history,” a speaker stated. “We are liberating territory,” they stated, affirming “[their] right to this campus.”

“Yesterday, we continued the revolutionary legacy of the anti-imperialist students who came before us.” A speaker discussed the 1985 occupation of Hamilton Hall during student protests against South African apartheid. They stated that Hamilton Hall was renamed Mandela Hall, after anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela, and was occupied by a group of students for three weeks.

The speaker also spoke about Hind Rajab, a six-year-old Palestinian girl who was killed by the IDF. “We are honoring every single martyr of Palestine,” a speaker announced.“

The administration is scared of the students and frankly, they should be. Because the administration knows very well that we have the power and we will ensure that we are winning and that we will continue to win,” a Hamilton Hall speaker stated.

116th and Broadway

Pro-Palestine and pro-Israel protesters are gathered on 116th and Broadway. Both sides were seen shouting at each other from across the barriers. Over 100 pro-Palestine protesters were reported, while about a dozen pro-Israel demonstrators were gathered. Pro-Israel demonstrators were seen exclaiming “Free the hostages” and “Suck it Jew-haters,” while pro-Palestine demonstrators reportedly chanted, “Resistance is justified when people are occupied.”

Update made on Tuesday, April 30 at 3:35 pm:

According to the New York Times, Gaza Solidarity Encampment negotiator Mahmoud Khalil has been suspended this morning. Khalil stated that he represents the student coalition leading the Encampment but is not a part of it.

Khalil has stated that he does not know the demands of the “autonomous subgroup” occupying Hamilton Hall. He stated that they have not communicated their demands to the group.

Khalil received the suspension notice from the school’s Center for Student Success and Intervention. The statement claimed that “It is specifically alleged that you have chosen not to leave the encampment despite the University’s earlier warnings” and included information similar to the warning notice from before.

Khalil told the New York Times that he was surprised by the occupation of Hamilton Hall, although he hopes the University will return to negotiations. He stated, “It’s on the university… I would say the university pushed the students to do this by refusing to concede or to listen to the real demands of the students.”

Update made on Tuesday, April 30 at 3:27 pm: Barnard guest policy

Following an email notifying Barnard students that their campus access would be limited to only those with Barnard IDs, Residential Life and Housing followed with another email saying that no guests are allowed in Barnard residential halls. There are no exceptions to this current policy; move-out guests are also not allowed in dorms. Residential Life and Housing has provided more carts to aid students moving out.

Update made on Tuesday, April 30 at 2:49 pm: Office of the President email to students

At 2:37 pm, the Office of the President sent out an email to the Columbia community reiterating many of the statements issued by spokesperson Ben Chang and the Emergency Management Operations Team earlier today.

Restated information can be found in previous updates. New information includes a notice that researchers who are needed to secure laboratory equipment and “preserve key research assets” are permitted on the Morningside campus and have been instructed to contact their dean. The only open gate is 116th and Amsterdam. However, disability access is available at the Wien Gate. Dodge Fitness center will close at 10 pm today; all group fitness classes have been canceled.

Update made on Tuesday, April 30 at 2:22 pm: CCSC statement

At around 1:25 pm, Columbia College Student Council (CCSC) posted a statement to their Instagram account to announce actions they are taking on behalf of students. They listed three main requests that they are working on obtaining for students.

Firstly, they reported that they are “advocating for academic accommodations.” The post states they hope “to either make finals optional, cancel finals, or further expand pass/fail [options]” for CC students. Additionally, CCSC stated that they are collaborating with Facilities and Public Safety to “reclaim confiscated [student] belongings from Butler,” which were reported to have been taken by Butler Public Safety in an earlier Instagram statement by Columbia University Apartheid Divest (CUAD).

The post also states that they are “working with Dining to ensure access to food.” They added that they will send information on how to access and use the $80 Flex Dollars that Columbia Dining announced each Columbia student will receive. They also wrote that they are trying to organize a catering service for residence halls outside of the Morningside campus for dinner tonight.

The post closed by “urging the University to either reopen campus or address the inadequacies of their current solution.” CCSC “[reaffirmed] its commitment to student life and student safety,” calling the recent closure of campus and limited access to food and on-campus healthcare services “unacceptable.”

CCSC noted that the recent campus updates “promote unhealthy living conditions” for students, particularly low-income students. They also addressed the recent closure of Butler Library, stating that the lack of “academic accomodations (sic)” was “inconsiderate to students’ experience and wellbeing.”

Update made on Tuesday, April 30 at 1:37 pm:

Columbia’s statement on ensuing disciplinary actions

University spokesperson Ben Chang sent Bwog a written statement, stating that Columbia administration “regret[s] that protesters have chosen to escalate the situation through their actions,” regarding the 12 am occupation of Hamilton Hall.

Chang noted that the administration will enforce disciplinary actions against protesting students who have made the situation “untenable” for the University by “vandalizing property, breaking doors and windows, and blockading entrances” during the Hamilton Hall occupation.

Further, he stated that students who are actively occupying Hamilton “face expulsion,” according to the statement. He stated that protesters “were informed” that their participation in the Encampment could lead to suspension and that the University “gave everyone at the encampment the opportunity to leave peacefully.” Students at the Encampment were handed disciplinary notices around 2 am on Monday. The notices offered them the option to be on academic probation until June 2025 and attend arbitrations with disciplinary University bodies or face suspension. Chang repeated that those who did not accept the terms handed out the Encampment protesters by 2 pm on Monday are being suspended.

Lastly, he stated that the actions are “about responding to the actions of the protesters, not their cause,” continuing by stating the demonstrations “have created a threatening environment for many of our Jewish students and faculty” and caused a “a noisy distraction” that impedes studying, learning, and teaching.

CC and SEAS Senior Dinners

The Columbia College and Columbia Engineering seniors dinners have been postponed. The dinners, which were originally scheduled for this evening, will now be on May 8 at St. John the Divine.

Update made on Tuesday, April 30 at 1:20 pm: CUAD statement

CUAD Instagram post

According to an Instagram post by Columbia University Apartheid Divest (CUAD), Butler Public Safety has confiscated belongings of people who were in Butler Library. The post alleges that these items are being held in Low Library with no chance to retrieve them at this time.

CUAD stated that individuals have “no food, no water, no bathroom access without swiping in” to campus buildings.

In this post, CUAD also announced a rally in front of Hamilton Hall at 2 pm. Campus access is still limited to only CUID holders who live in buildings on Columbia’s campus or essential workers

Columbia Flex Dollars

At around 12:40 pm, some Columbia College students received an email from Columbia Dining stating that $80 in Flex Dollars would be added to their dining account “in light of campus restrictions impacting access to several Columbia Dining locations.” The email notes that this offer will only be extended to Columbia Dining Plan holders.

The Flex Dollars can be used toward off-campus dining and online food delivery, according to the email. The message also requests that students email Columbia Dining if they do not receive Flex by the end of the day.

Columbia Dining posted a notice to their Instagram story stating that all Columbia Dining Plan holders will receive this $80 addition.

Update made on Tuesday, April 30 at 12:30 pm: Morningside campus updates

At around 11:40 am, Public Safety began to shut down Butler Library, turning on alarms to usher students outside. Butler, which was the only remaining open library on Columbia’s Morningside campus, is now closed.

Meanwhile, the Lewisohn Lawn Encampment seems to be quiet and deserted, with only a few people inside tents.

Update made on Tuesday, April 30 at 12:12 pm: White House statement

In an article published Tuesday, the New York Post reported that the White House has publicly denounced the occupation of Hamilton Hall by Pro-Palestine protesters in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The White House characterized the protest as “not peaceful,” saying that President Biden “condemns” the use of the term “intifada,” along with other “tragic and dangerous hate speech.” Intifada is a term for uprising and has been used throughout campus protests by pro-Palestine demonstrators.

In a statement, White House Deputy Press Secretary Andrew Bates said that “President Biden has stood against repugnant, Antisemitic smears and violent rhetoric his entire life.”

Bates continued by stating that President Biden “respects the right to free expression” should protests be “peaceful and lawful.” However, he asserted that “forcibly taking over buildings is not peaceful – it is wrong.”

White House National Security spokesman John Kirby added that “a small percentage of students shouldn’t be able to [disrupt] the academic experience” for the rest of the student population, stating that students should be able to receive their education “without destruction.” Kirby cited the experiences of graduating seniors, saying that students “deserve to be able to graduate and participate in a graduation ceremony.”

While the White House “believe[s] in the… right to protest policies and ideas,” protests must be done “peacefully; you cant hurt anybody.”

The occupation of Hamilton Hall comes one day after House Representatives wrote to Columbia’s Board of Trustees “demanding that it crust the student protest encampment or resign,” the New York Post wrote.

Biden has yet to comment himself on the Hamilton Hall occupation.

Update made on Tuesday, April 30 at 9:58 am: Morningside campus updates

At 9:45 am, the Office of the President sent an email emphasizing that the campus is limited so students who live in specific residence halls. They added that students who have meal plans but cannot access campus may go to Grace Dodge Hall until 7 pm. Student mail services and libraries are closed, but Butler will remain as a “study hall” for those who can access it. Campus shuttles will continue as normal.

Update made on Tuesday, April 30 at 9:09 am: Restrictions to Barnard campus

At 8:03 am, Kelli Murray, EVP for Strategy and Chief Administrative Office, and Sarah Gillman, SVP for Strategic Finance and Operations sent an email to the Barnard community updating restrictions to the Barnard campus, which “will move immediately to Barnard ID access only.” The new policies also entail no guests allowed to come to campus (including residence halls) and all in-person events being canceled.

The email references the occupation of Hamilton Hall by protesters earlier this morning and the subsequent access restrictions to Columbia’s campus, detailed in a previous email. In addition, all Barnard offices will remain open, but some services will only be provided remotely. “Dining halls, residence halls, the Barnard library, and health services (Furman Counseling and Primary Care Health Services) will operate as usual,” the email reads.

Update made on Tuesday, April 30 at 8:41 am: University update

Columbia’s administration is aware of the Hamilton Hall occupation, according to the University spokesperson Ben Chang. In a brief statement, Chang stated that community members’ safety is “paramount” and that the University has asked for restricted campus access to those who live in residential halls and emergency personnel.

Update made on Tuesday, April 30 at 8:15 am: Limited campus access

At 6:23 am, the Emergency Management Operations Team sent an email to Columbia students and affiliates informing them that access to the Morningside Campus would be limited to students residing in the John Jay, Hartley, Wallach, Furnald, Carman, East Campus and Wien dormitory buildings on campus and employees who “provide essential services to campus buildings, labs, and residential student life.”

They stated that the only entry and exit point open to campus will be the gate on 116th Street and Amsterdam, but that security personnel would remain at the Wien Gate for those in need of disability access to Wien Hall and East Campus.

Bwog has inquired about dining and health services access for those who do not live in the specific residence halls in which occupants still have access to campus.

Update made on Tuesday, April 30 at 4:42 am: Public Safety advisory

Public Safety sent a message to students and affiliates advising them to not come to the Morningside campus on April 30 unless necessary. Essential personnel are still expected to work. They also added that campus access and “other campus buildings” could be under restrictions. Campus has been restricted through locked gates on 116th and Broadway, 115th and Broadway, and 114th Street since Monday, April 15, two days before President Shafik’s congressional hearing.

Update made on Tuesday, April 30 at 4:35 am: Hamilton protest

The crowd has somewhat dispersed from the blockade outside of Hamilton, as of around 4 am. NYPD is not on campus, but Public Safety officers have been spotted in several areas. Many of the protesters are still at the Sundial on College Walk. We will continue updates.

The crowd outside of Hamilton has mostly dispersed.

Update made on Tuesday, April 30 at 3:26 am:

Hamilton Hall

At around 3 am, a student standing outside of the Undergraduate Admissions Entrance to Hamilton spoke into a megaphone, asking “Why are we here today?” The crowd responded “Palestine.” The speaker stated that “Palestine is leading the struggle against US Imperialism.” They announced that “today is the 206th day of the ongoing genocide,” and that they will sit outside Hamilton “however long it takes to show that [they] are in full solidarity with Palestine, and that we are here for our comrades who have bravely occupied the building.” 

The speaker also referenced Hind Rajab, whom students referenced on a banner hung outside a Hamilton window, saying that “we owe it to all our martyrs because we will continue to honor our martyrs and fight like hell for the living.”

The speaker further stated that “one day… we will have our press conferences… in Jerusalem.”

John Jay intruder video

At 3:15 am, a Public Safety officer told Bwog that they have “taken care” of the John Jay intruder situation. The officer did not elaborate.

116th and Broadway

At 3:15 am, Bwog witnessed the NYPD deploy a drone on 116th and Broadway. 

Update made on Tuesday, April 30 at 3:10 am:

At around 2 am, individuals were seen climbing into the windows of John Jay Hall from the street, according to an X post shared on Viral News NYC. Bwog inquired Public Safety about reports of individuals breaking into John Jay Hall; a Public Safety officer denied that anybody had gotten in. 

At the Sundial, protesters sang, “We shall not be moved.” On College Walk, faculty members sang, “Somewhere there’s a child crying.”

At around 3 am, students outside of Hamilton sang “We shall not be moved.” Led by a protester with a megaphone from the balcony above, protesters began singing additional songs.

Update made on Tuesday, April 30 at 2:44 am:

CUAD press release

At 2:07 am, CUAD posted to X a press release about the occupation of Hamilton Hall. The press release mentions how the protesters “reclaimed Hind’s Hall, previously known as ‘Hamilton Hall,’” a reference to Hind Rajab, a Palestinian child who was killed at the age of six years old in January of this year. The statement also referenced past student protests in 1968, 1985, and 1992, “which Columbia once repressed yet celebrates today.” The statement reiterated protesters’ commitment to remaining in Hamilton Hall until the demands of CUAD—“divestment, financial transparency, and amnesty”—are met. 

The press release states that “[r]esistance is justified in the movement for liberation,” citing the increased NYPD presence, CUID checks at Columbia gates, and student arrests on Thursday. They also mention that the University is “weaponizing food insecurity and houselesness [sic] as leverage in negotiations.” It states that the University “has forced protesters to escalate” due to their refusal to divest and “follow baseline standards of conduct that make negotiation possible.”

The statement continues by stating that “CUAD’s encampment is a peaceful form of protest as demonstrated over the last 12 days.” CUAD asked the press and the public “to hold Columbia accountable for any disproportionate response to students’ actions today” and urged Columbia administrators and trustees to “not incite another Kent or Jackson State” by calling on the NYPD or National Guard. They write, “Students’ blood will be on your hands.”

CUAD thanks the “brave students and community members” who participated in the protest and “put themselves in harm’s way to protest Columbia’s complicity.” They emphasize the urgency of their actions in light of “Israel’s planned invasion of Rafah.” 

The statement calls for the University to “open the gates, end the occupation, and welcome the free movement of all people,” and declares their solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Hamilton Hall and Sundial update

Around 2:19 am, students on the fifth floor of Hamilton Hall opened the windows, shouting “Palestine is our fight, students of the world unite.”

A speaker at the Sundial appeared to address the students on the fifth floor, shouting, “We have another lawn [Lewisohn] because of you.”

Update made on Tuesday, April 30 at 2:32 am:

Progress has been restored to updates that were lost due to a website malfunction.

Hamilton Hall

Students gained access to Hamilton Hall around 12:30 am. A window was shattered on the right door. Protesters gathered tables that are typically on the lawn outside of Hamilton and used those to barricade the door. Other students are crowded around the entrances. Hamilton Hall was previously occupied during the 1968 student protests at Columbia. It currently houses several classrooms and administrative offices. Eventually, the few student demonstrators who entered the building shuttered the windows and used paper to cover the other windows. They also unfurled several banners and flags, including the Palestinian flag from one window, a flag reading “Gaza calls, Columbia falls,” and a banner that reads “Hind’s Hall” from one window, and a vertical banner that reads “Intifada” from another window.

Non-demonstrating students gathered outside on the lawns to observe as the protesters chanted several slogans, such as “Disclose, divest, we will not stop, we will not rest,” “One solution, revolution,” and “There is only one solution, intifada revolution,” among several others.

A protester with a megaphone spoke from the balcony above Hamilton Hall’s main entrance, leading a call and response chant with protesters gathered below, saying “This building is liberated in honor of Hind, a 6-year-old Palestinian child murdered in Gaza by the Israeli Occupation Forces funded by Columbia University,” followed by chants of, “We will honor all the martyrs, all the children, sons, and daughters.” Protesters later chanted, “We will not leave until Columbia meets every one of our demands,” followed with cheering from protesters outside of Hamilton. Around 2:15 am, protesters inside of the building led a chant of “Free, free Palestine,” “Gaza, Gaza, you will rise, Palestine will never die.”

Sundial speaker

As of 2:05 am, protesters who were picketing around Butler Lawns began sitting down around the Sundial. An individual began giving a speech. “We’re out here picketing and taking over things. We have made our demands very clear,” they stated. The speaker restated protesters’ demands, chanting that if they don’t get the demands, they will “shut it down.” 

“We will continue to escalate,” the speaker said. “We have to remember. Everything we are doing is for Gaza and Palestine.”

116th and Amsterdam protest

On 116th and Amsterdam, a group of around 20 protesters and 10 NYPD officers stood outside of the Columbia gates. Outside the Amsterdam and 116th gates, a group of protesters chanted, “Students students make us proud, Columbia back down.”

As of 2 am, the NYPD had not entered Columbia University’s campus.

Counter-protester removal

Some tables were moved to block counter-protesters between Hamilton Hall doors, as they did not leave the entrance. 

At 1:19 am, a counter-protester appears to have been forcibly removed from the entrance of Hamilton, leaving one counter-protester. The counter-protester yelled “Why are you doing this” as he was removed. Protesters chanting “shut it down” continued to attempt to remove remaining counter-protesters. At 1:24 am, the remaining counter-protester left of his own accord. 

Shortly after at 1:26 am, protesters remade the barricade in the entrance of Hamilton where the counter protesters had previously occupied, zip-tying picnic tables to the door. 

Lewisohn Hall Encampment

At around 1 am, protesters had set up about 16 to 17 tents on the lawn in front of Lewisohn Hall, expanding the Encampment. There are currently few people in the new Encampment. Protesters set up flags as well while more tents and blankets were brought from the original Encampment. 

At Lewisohn Lawn, protesters were seen huddling under umbrellas to avoid being photographed. Palestinian flags similar to those from the West Lawn Encampment were set up on hedges, lampposts, and statues on the lawn. 

Hamilton Hall blockade

At around 1 am, protesters outside of Hamilton Hall began setting up tables on top of trash cans and using picnic tables to blockade doors. Counter-protesters attempted to prevent the blockades from being set up. Protesters nearby chanted “Minouche Shafik, what do you say? How many kids did you kill today?” At around 1:18 am, students started removing the picnic tables and formed a circle blockade around the counter-protesters. 

Protesters outside of Hamilton Hall then moved trash cans in front of the Hamilton doors and zip-tied the trash cans together, strengthening the blockade.

“Repeat after me,” a speaker in front of Hamilton Hall stated. “This building is now liberated. We will not leave until Columbia meets every one of our demands.”

SJP and CUAD announcement

At around 12:40 am, SJP and CUAD posted to their Instagram an announcement of the occupation of Hamilton Hall by an “autonomous group of students” who have “taken matters into their own hands.” SJP and CUAD stated that this is “after Columbia’s persistent refusal to divest, complicity in genocide, and continued violence against its students.” The statement reads, “This escalation is in line with the historical student movements of 1968, 1985, and 1996, which Columbia repressed then and celebrates today.” The statement is accompanied by photos of the 1968 occupation of Hamilton Hall by Vietnam War protesters. The statement affirms that protesters “will remain in Hamilton until the University divests from death.” 

The post continued to explain that Columbia’s negotiations have been “in bad faith,” referencing threats of mass suspension and eviction and the National Guard. “These actions,” the post stated, “are the latest in the University’s 7 month complicity in Israel’s ongoing genocidal assault on the Gaza strip.”

The post further stated that these students will be remembered by the University “as anti-apartheid, anti-genocide activists with moral clarity,” and added that “the real test is how Columbia chooses to respond.” This post also includes a video of protesters carrying blockades into Hamilton Hall, including NYPD barricades. 

The post concluded by stating that the Hamilton Hall occupation “reflects the student body’s overwhelming support for divestment” and that CUAD “stand[s] with these students.”

At around 1 am, SJP and CUAD also posted an “urgent call for mobilization” to their Instagram accounts. They shared “action items” to their followers, including joining the ongoing picket outside of Hamilton Hall, joining the sit-in inside Hamilton, and “defending” the original Encampment on the West Lawn. They also stated that “this is a highly dynamic situation and there is no fixed level of risk” and shared ways that participants might “mitigate risk.”

Facilities members and students inside of Hamilton Hall

Around 12:40 am, a member of facilities reportedly announced to those outside of Hamilton that he had been taken hostage inside Hamilton Hall. He stated, “No I’m not okay, my mental is not okay.” It is unconfirmed whether or not he was instructed inside Hamilton or if he was there when it was occupied. At around 1:10 am, WKCR reported that two Facilities employees that were inside Hamilton Hall exited the building, along with a group of people who reported they were in the building studying. 

Update made on Tuesday, April 30 at 12:50 am:

At around 12:15 am on April 30, Gaza Solidarity Encampment protesters began moving tents from the main Encampment on West Lawn to the Lewisohn Lawn. At the same time, another group of protesters from the Encampment began occupying Hamilton Hall, breaking multiple windows and barricading the doors with various pieces of furniture from inside the building. Meanwhile, additional protesters began forming human barricades in front of the doors. 

Other protesters began to picket around the Sundial and near Butler Library. A keffiyeh was placed on Alma Mater. Protestors surrounded the sculpture, chanting “Students we see you, we are here to support you.”

Update made on Tuesday, April 30 at 12:44 am: Students occupying Hamilton

Students have began occupying Hamilton, breaking a window to get into the building. Protesters have formed a human barricade outside of the building. This comes after students left the West Lawn around 12:25 am. Some encircle the lawns chanting, “Free free Palestine,” “Disclose, divest, we will not stop, we will not rest,” and “Hey hey, ho ho, the occupation has got to go.”

Other demonstrators have climbed the Alma Mater statue and placed a keffiyeh on it. Students are still barricading Hamilton.

Legal observers identified by neon green arm bands are on the site.

“Liberation Education” banner via Visual Editor Elias Reville