Pro-Palestinian Protesters Demonstrate Inside CUNY Graduate Center in Manhattan

NEW YORK (NY Daily News/TNS) — Pro-Palestinian protesters occupied the lobby of the CUNY Graduate Center in Midtown Manhattan on Tuesday night, about two weeks after big NYPD crackdowns at City College of New York and other campuses.

About two dozen students demonstrated inside the lobby on Fifth Ave. near E. 34th St., hanging banners and dubbing the Center’s library “The Al Aqsa University Library.”

Al Aqsa University, the oldest public university in Gaza, has been destroyed during Israel’s war on Hamas.

About 75 protesters stood in the rain outside the Graduate Center waving Palestinian flags. Dozens of NYPD cops lined the street outside the building but did not breach the building. Meanwhile, students were seen diligently studying inside the library as the spring semester wound down.

Students involved in the demonstration called on administrators to negotiate a divestment from “Israeli weapons, tech and surveillance companies.”

“Instead, on April 30, the City College administration called the New York Police Department to dismantle the CUNY Gaza Solidarity Encampment, resulting in brutalization of protestors and almost 200 arrests,” the students said in a statement. “On May 13, CCNY threatened pro-Palestine students with suspension for protesting on their own campus.”

On May 1, police made 173 arrests after pro-Palestinian protesters occupied a City College administration building, vandalizing offices and shattering glass doors, before CUNY called in the NYPD to clear the encampment, officials previously said.

A CUNY Graduate Center spokeswoman did not immediately requests for comment Tuesday night.

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