Deadline looming for Columbia pro-Palestine protesters: What comes next in the Gaza-Israel conflict?

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Students at Columbia University who are protesting against Israel’s war on Gaza have been asked to clear their campus encampments by 8am on Wednesday, with no agreement reached between the university and the organizers. The protesters, who have been conducting a Gaza Solidarity Encampment for seven days, faced a deadline set by university President Nemat “Minouche” Shafik to dismantle the encampments by midnight, but negotiations failed to reach a resolution. As the deadline passed, an extension was granted, leading to continued tension on campus.

The protests at Columbia have been part of a larger movement across US university campuses in support of Palestine, particularly as the death toll in Gaza continues to rise. The protesters are calling for the university to divest from corporations profiting from the conflict, as well as demanding more transparency in financial investments and a cessation of academic ties with Israeli universities.

Police presence outside the campus has escalated, with reports of Strategic Response Group officers lining up outside the building. The protesters have vowed to continue their peaceful demonstrations despite threats from the university administration. In response, more than 1,400 academics have signed a letter announcing an academic boycott of Columbia until suspensions are reversed, police are removed from campus, and Shafik resigns.

The movement, led by the Columbia University Apartheid Divest coalition, Students for Justice in Palestine, and Jewish Voice for Peace, has vowed to continue protesting until their demands are met. Despite ongoing tensions and threats from the university, the protesters remain steadfast in their commitment to peacefully advocate for change.

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