Deadline Passes but Columbia Students Remain in the Encampment

University officials gave the pro-Palestinian demonstrators a 2 p.m. deadline and threatened to suspend them if they did not leave.

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian demonstrators marched around the protest encampment at Columbia University on Monday to protect it as a deadline set by the university to clear its central lawn passed and students inside had not dispersed.

Columbia had given students until 2 p.m. to clear out from the encampment, warning them that they would face immediate suspension if they did not leave by then.

There was little sign of New York Police Department officers and no immediate indication that university public safety officers were moving in. But it remained unclear how the school would follow through on enforcing its deadline.

There were about 80 tents and dozens of protesters left in the encampment just after 2 p.m. The campus was also thronged with media.

According to the university, only the students who remained in the encampment after 2 p.m. would face immediate suspension, not the hundreds of other students who were encircling the camp to protect it and show their support. Ben Chang, a spokesman for the university, said he would brief the press at 5 p.m. about the university’s plans.

So far, at least, the student protesters vowed to stay put. At a news conference on Monday afternoon, Sueda Polat, a student organizer with the encampment, said that the university had not made significant concessions to the protesters’ main demand of divestment from companies with links to the Israeli occupation of Gaza. Columbia had also stopped negotiating. As a result, she said, the students inside the encampment “will not be moved unless by force.”

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