Columbia students leave a Hillary Clinton speech while protests between Israel and Hamas rock the campus

 November 3, 2023

Students at Columbia University staged a walkout of international and public affairs lectures on Wednesday afternoon, including a lecture given by Hillary Clinton. 

The students were showing their solidarity with pro-Palestinian students who have been doxxed and reported feeling frightened and uncomfortable on campus, as The New York Daily News reported.

At three o'clock in the afternoon, a few dozen students out of a total of hundreds departed Clinton's class, which she co-taught with Dean Keren Yarhi-Milo.

At the same time, students left at least three other classes that were running in parallel. During the 1990s, Yarhi-Milo worked as an intelligence officer for the Israeli military.

The Call to Action

“You’re not alone, and we’re here for you,” read a call to action ahead of the walkout, shared with the Daily News.

The memo specified the protest “does not target any specific member of the administration that may help us or be against us.”

Digital billboards featuring the names and photographs of students under the banner "Columbia's Leading Antisemites" have been affixed to "doxxing trucks," which have been paraded throughout Columbia and other campuses, including Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania.

Accuracy in Media, a conservative organization that is not affiliated with the university, provides sponsorship for the vehicles.

The students who were protesting intended to occupy seats along the "fishbowl," a major thoroughfare on the fourth floor of the structure.

Following the conclusion of the lecture, Clinton and Yarhi-Milo exited through a side entrance without stumbling over the students. The school reports that Dean Yarhi-Milo returned to speak with students immediately following the former first lady's exit

From the Protesters

“I have not been subject to doxxing personally but some of my very close friends have been,” one of the student protesters told The News. “They do not feel safe walking on campus, they have been missing classes and are behind studies due to emotional and mental distress, especially due to complete failure of university administration to protect them.”

“I have lost friends for speaking out, have been subject to weird questions on campus for going to protests and vigils, and do not feel safe at all sharing my opinions even within the campus for the fear of being misquoted and called as antisemitic,” said the student, who is Muslim.

The student protesters compiled a list of demands for the university, which included the right to free speech and improved communication from the administration. In addition, they demanded that the administration conduct an inquiry into whether or not Accuracy in Media obtained photographs of Columbia students from an internal, secure school platform.

“The university’s overriding priority is the safety and security of its students and community,” said a spokesperson for Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs. “The university and SIPA take this responsibility very seriously — and this includes speaking out against doxing, a dangerous form of intimidation, as unacceptable.”

“Many individuals, including students across several schools, have been subject to these attacks by third parties. This includes disturbing incidents in which trucks have circled the Columbia campus displaying and publicizing the names and photos of Arab, Muslim, and Palestinian students,” they said following the protests first reported by The New York Times.

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