Headline RoundupApril 18th, 2024

Police Arrest Over 100 at Columbia Pro-Palestine Student Protest

Summary from the AllSides News Team

New York police arrested over 100 students at Columbia University as they dispersed a pro-Palestine protest encampment, coinciding with Columbia President Nemat Shafik’s testimony to the House education committee.

The Details: Hundreds of students and faculty gathered hours before Shafik’s testimony on Wednesday, setting up tents in Columbia University’s South Lawn. Competing pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian rallies grew throughout the day. The student-run Columbia Spectator reported that the university administration planned to suspend anyone who remained in the encampment after 9 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Four people were arrested overnight, and on Thursday, Shafik asked the NYPD to help remove the protesters, who reportedly did not resist arrest.

How the Media Covered It: Some prominent right-rated outlets sensationalized the story; Fox News (Right bias), for instance, featured a headline on its homepage saying “anti-Israel agitators” had been “zip-tied” after “fiery protests.” Similarly, the New York Post (Lean Right bias) said, “cops in riot gear swarmed the campus.” Both Fox News and the Post highlighted the perspective of Jewish students who criticized the pro-Palestine protesters. Coverage from mainstream left-rated outlets was generally less exaggerated, although Al Jazeera (Lean Left bias) sensationally said police “stormed the campus.” Outlets across the spectrum covered the suspension of Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) daughter in connection to the protests. 

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