May 19, 2024

Columbia University students heckled House Speaker Mike Johnson on Wednesday as he visited the flashpoint of nationwide student demonstrations over the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza, as the New York school agreed to 48 more hours of negotiations to end a protest encampment.

Johnson’s visit, which he said was meant to support Jewish students intimidated by some anti-Israeli demonstrators, took place shortly after the university extended a deadline from Wednesday morning to Friday morning to reach an agreement to remove an encampment that has come to symbolize the campus protest movement.

Some of the campus protests taking place across the U.S. were met with shows of force from law enforcement. In Texas, state highway patrol troopers in riot gear and police on horseback broke up a protest at the University of Texas in Austin and arrested 20 people, and campus police tore down tents at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

Other demonstrations took place at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge and California State Polytechnic in Humboldt. Protesting students have demanded universities divest assets from Israel and seek to pressure the U.S. government to rein in Israeli strikes on Palestinian civilians.

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