America: Tension increased as protests increased in college, resignation of Columbia President demanded

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale - Senior Editor
3 Min Read

Tensions rose amid protests at colleges as House Speaker Mike Johnson called for the resignation of the president of Columbia University amid ongoing demonstrations over pro-Palestinian sentiments at major US universities, CNN reported.

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Protesters at Columbia University, where demonstrations took place last week, are demanding the severance of ties with Israeli academic institutions and complete divestment from Israel-linked institutions amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict.

House Speaker Mike Johnson stressed the need for order on campus, saying that if the university president could not restore peace, he should resign. However, as CNN reports, students' reactions to this call for resignation have varied, with some expressing their desire to continue working with him.

At the University of Texas at Austin, more than 30 arrests were made during protests, while about 50 protesters were arrested at the University of Southern California after police ordered them to disperse.

Isha Karam, managing director of the Columbia Daily Spectator, has described negotiations between Columbia University officials and protesters as “untenable” regarding the removal of encampments on campus, citing student organizers. The talks have been extended for 48 hours, but the outcome remains uncertain.

“We're about halfway through the 48-hour extended deadline and we heard from student front organizers at a press conference earlier today, who told us that negotiations are going very shaky right now,” Karam told CNN.

“There's still about 24 hours until the extended deadline, but really after that, we don't really know where things are going to go,” Karam said.

The California State Polytechnic University Humboldt campus remains on lockdown as protesters, including unidentified non-students, occupy two buildings. School officials have expressed concerns over security threats and property damage, with plans to keep the campus closed for an extended period of time.

Amid clashes between protesters and law enforcement at the University of Texas at Austin, a Fox 7 photographer was detained and arrested. The Texas Department of Public Safety reported 34 arrests at the complex as of 9 p.m., CNN reports.

Despite mounting pressure, the Columbia University Board of Trustees issued a statement reaffirming its support for President Minouche Shafik, praising his handling of the unrest and his commitment to resolving conflicts while maintaining campus values.

The board assured cooperation with President Shafiq to address the campus turmoil and rebuild community relations amid the ongoing protests, CNN reported.

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