Protest of Israel at Yale is cleared by police, 45 arrested (2024)

NEW HAVEN – About 45 protesters at Yale University were arrested and charged with trespassing Monday morning during a protest seeking the university to divest from weapons manufacturers that supply Israel with arms, police said.

New Haven police officers assisted the Yale Police Department in the area of the Beinecke Plaza, where protesters were given commands to leave the property or be arrested, police said.

The protesters refused to leave and were charged by Yale officers with first-degree trespassing, police said.

“They were transported to a Yale Police facility where they were processed and released,” police said. “At approximately 8 (a.m.), a group of about 200 protesters returned to block the intersection of Grove Street and College Street. The protest is currently ongoing. The New Haven Police Department has no current plans to make any arrests of nonviolent protesters.”

Noor Kareem, a sophom*ore from Michigan who was one of those arrested, said, “It was very brutal. We were all crying. I was asleep and we were woken up by shouts that police are here. It was very cold. I went out with my blanket. … We were all sitting there singing and crying together.”

Kareem said she was sharing a tent with friends who were not among those designated to be arrested but they were arrested as well. The arrests began at 6:30 a.m.

“It seemed like the cops had a time which they were supposed to arrest people, because they were looking at their watches, and then all of a sudden they just grabbed someone who wasn’t linked with us because we were all holding arms,” Kareem said. “One person was just walking by and they grabbed her and then she was the first to get arrested, and then they started going into the circle and grabbing people one by one.”

At College and Grove, outside Woolsey Hall, students chanted slogans such as “Hey hey, ho ho, there’s blood on your portfolio.”

New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker said New Haven police assisted Yale police in the arrests in “a supportive role.”

“New Haven has a long history supporting people’s rights to express their views and struggle through very challenging issues,” he said. “What’s important is that people are safe. And ultimately, protesters blocking two busy city streets cannot happen indefinitely. So we’ve been asking the protesters to move off the street onto the sidewalk and they’ve been unwilling to do so.”

Elicker said if the students continue to block the streets, “at some point … we will have to make arrests. Of course we’d like to avoid doing that because ultimately we want to support anyone having the ability to demonstrate.”

He said there had been concerns about safety on Beinecke Plaza, with issues of harassment.

Rabbi Meir Posner, the Chabad Jewish chaplain at Yale, said, “Although we support the rights of students to speak out on various different issues, when it crosses the line into antisemitic calls, and especially when it crosses into violence, that’s something that needs to be taken very seriously by the Yale administration. We believe that the Yale should enforce their code of conduct and their policies consistently, equally and fairly.”

Posner referred to an incident Saturday night in which a Yale student, whom the New York Post said was “wearing Hasidic Jewish attire,” allegedly was jabbed in the eye with a Palestinian flag. Posner said the antisemitism included “calls supporting Hamas. There was a shrine at the protest celebrating a convicted murderer. … There were calls specifically directed at Jews using various different dog whistles and, in some cases, direct hostile language.”

Posner added, “To be clear, I’m not suggesting that all those participating in the protests are antisemitic. That’s not the suggestion here. But it’s clear that there were certain tones that crossed into that territory and that’s not OK. Students at Yale need to be able to feel safe and protected and have freedom of movement. And if they’re visibly Jewish and are targeted because of their Jewish identity, that’s cause for concern.”

State Republican Chairman Ben Proto issued a statement saying, “We will not be silent about what is taking place at Yale. To see college students at Connecticut and one of the world’s top universities openly sympathizing with a terrorist group and committing acts of violence against Jewish students is disgraceful. Anyone who commits these violent acts must be prosecuted.”

Colin Morse, an architecture student, said at the protest, “As a graduate student here I’m very saddened by the fact that Yale decided that arrests were a bigger priority than opening up meetings with students who are representing the movement that divests away from weapons manufacturing.”

“I’m very proud of my community,” said Matthew Horowitz. “I’m a New Haven resident. I’m a Jew. I think that the arrest of the peaceful protesters was unreasonable, and you’re just seeing community come together to support people under occupation. Economic sanctions, personal actions, boycotts, these are the peaceful means of protest that we’ve seen make great change in history. And that’s what worked with apartheid South Africa.”

Hundreds of protesters had been calling for Yale to divest from arms manufacturers and built an encampment on the campus Friday evening.

At the protest’s peak, more than 400 people gathered outside of the Schwarzman Center in Beinecke Plaza, according to Yale’s student newspaper, the Yale Daily News. Students built an encampment with 24 tents outside of a Board of Trustees dinner honoring outgoing President Peter Salovey to demand the university withdraw its investments in weapons companies directly aiding Israel. Salovey previously announced he would be stepping down this year.

A Yale spokeswoman issued a statement saying, “For the past week, protestors advocating for Yale’s divestment from military weapons manufacturers converged on Hewitt Quadrangle (Beinecke Plaza). Over the weekend, these protests grew to include several hundred people – Yale undergraduates, graduate and professional students, and people with no Yale affiliation.

“Early this morning, the university again asked protestors to leave and remove their belongings,” the statement said. “Before taking this step, the university had notified protestors numerous times that if they continued to violate Yale’s policies and instructions regarding occupying outdoor spaces, they could face law enforcement and disciplinary action, including reprimand, probation, or suspension.

“The university also spent several hours in discussion with student protestors yesterday, offering them the opportunity to meet with trustees, including the chair of the Corporation Committee on Investor Responsibility (CCIR), and to avoid arrest if they left the plaza by the end of the weekend. They declined this offer and continued to occupy the plaza. The university extended the deadline for a response to their offer to meet with the CCIR and trustees several times, with negotiations concluding unsuccessfully at 11:30pm.

“Today, members of Yale’s police department isolated the area and asked protestors to show identification; some left voluntarily. When others did not comply after multiple requests, the Yale Police Department (YPD) issued summonses to 47 students, according to the most recent report from the chief of YPD. Students who were arrested also will be referred for Yale disciplinary action, which includes a range of sanctions, such as reprimand, probation, or suspension.

“The university made the decision to arrest those individuals who would not leave the Plaza with the safety and security of the entire Yale community in mind and to allow access to university facilities by all members of our community. Yale provides detailed guidance on free expression, peaceable assembly, and requesting the use of on-campus outdoor spaces. Since the protest started, the university and the Yale Police Department worked to reduce the likelihood of confrontations and arrests.

“Yesterday, President Peter Salovey sent a message to the community, noting that the university would not tolerate behavior that interfered with university operations or threatened, harassed, or intimidated others.”

The Yale students said they were also showing solidarity with recent Columbia University protests, which resulted in mass arrests on Thursday. The Columbia students, who built similar encampments protesting university investments in weapons manufacturers, were forcefully removed from Columbia’s property in a decision that has brought widespread criticism.

Columbia canceled in-person classes Monday and new demonstrations broke out on other U.S. college campuses as tensions continue to grow over Israel’s war in Gaza.

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators set up encampments on other campuses around the country, including at the University of Michigan, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of North Carolina.

“We are here to defend students’ right to peaceful protest, and we stand in solidarity with our peers who have been arrested and suspended at Columbia,” Yale student Lumisa Bista had said in a statement from Occupy Beinecke, the group who helped organized the protest. “We condemn the mobilization of police against students who were demonstrating for peace.”

“We are here asking, peacefully, to be heard by the board that is meant to serve our interests,” said Yale student Patrick Hayes in a statement from Occupy Beinecke. “We refuse to accept our university’s complicity in the slaughter of civilians, the eradication of entire families, and the razing of Palestinian land. Our encampment stands for peace.”

According to the group, Yale holds thousands of shares in index funds from defense and weapons manufacturers that help aid Israel’s war with Hamas.

“I am here because Palestinian life and all life is precious,” said Yale student Adam Nussbaum in a statement.

The Occupy Beinecke “Book not Bombs” protest comes amid weeks of student-led activism calling for the university to disclose and divest investments in weapons manufacturers. More than 2,000 letters have been sent to Salovey from students urging Yale to act, according to a statement from the group. But despite the pressure, the university has so far not signaled it would divest, according to the group.

“From New Haven to Gaza, all students deserve the right to a safe and supported education – deserve to learn without fear of being bombed and drone-striked,” said protester Craig Birkhead-Morton. “The University’s continued weapons investments imply that American school shootings merit divestment, but the destruction of every university in Gaza and slaughter of thousands of Palestinian students does not.”

The protesters had said they would continue to occupy the Beinecke Plaza until Yale divests from the companies.


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Protest of Israel at Yale is cleared by police, 45 arrested (2024)


Protest of Israel at Yale is cleared by police, 45 arrested? ›

NEW HAVEN – About 45 protesters at Yale University were arrested and charged with trespassing Monday morning during a protest seeking the university to divest from weapons manufacturers that supply Israel with arms, police said.

Why were Yale students arrested? ›

As the university buckled down for finals, administrators set down three ground rules for further protests: no tents, no amplification systems beyond megaphones, and no outdoor gatherings past 11 p.m. Which is why four protesters — two of them students — were arrested around midnight.

What is the Yale protest about? ›

Yale students said they have been asking the university for months to disclose their investments and divest from weapons manufacturing in the war between Israel and Hamas and decided to protest when there was no response. Earlier this week, police dismantled an encampment that was set up on campus.

Which colleges are protesting Israel? ›

On campus: As students around the country protest, student journalists are covering their peers in a moment of uncertainty.
Apr 30, 2024

Why are students protesting at Columbia university? ›

For Columbia demonstrators, the requests from the students were threefold: first, for the university to divest from companies that support Israel's military campaign in Gaza; second, for public transparency of the university's financial portfolio; and third, to request amnesty for all students facing disciplinary ...

How many Jews attend Yale? ›

Jews now make up 9.9 percent of Harvard's undergraduate enrollment and 12.2 percent at Yale, according to estimates on Hillel's website. The share of Jewish students at Columbia University is an estimated 22.3 percent.

Why does Yale have Hebrew? ›

Because of Carigal's relationship with Yale's fifth president, Reverend Ezra Stiles, in 1777 Hebrew became a required course in the freshman curriculum. Many colonial-era American Christians had a respect for —even a fascination with— the Hebrew language and Jewish religion.

What religion was Yale founded on? ›

When Yale College was founded in 1701, it was as a college of religious training for Congregationalist ministers in Connecticut Colony, designated in its charter as a school "wherein Youth may be instructed in the Arts & Sciences who through the blessing of Almighty God may be fitted for Publick employment both in ...

Was Yale a Bible college? ›

Training for the Christian ministry was a main purpose in the founding of Yale College in 1701.

What religious denomination is Yale University? ›

The school is interdenominational and nonsectarian, with a faculty drawn from the major Christian traditions and also other world religions.

What religion is followed in Israel? ›

The religious affiliation of the Israeli population as of 2022 was 73.6% Jewish, 18.1% Muslim, 1.9% Christian, and 1.6% Druze. The remaining 4.8% included faiths such as Samaritanism and Baháʼí, as well as "religiously unclassified".

What percent of Israel goes to college? ›

Comparisons with other countries

Despite this, Israel ranks second among OECD countries (tied with Japan and just after Canada) for the percentage of 25- to 64-year-olds that have achieved tertiary education: 46% compared with an OECD average of 32%.

What percentage of students get into Columbia? ›

For the 2022 Columbia acceptance rate, as 2,253 students were admitted out of 60,377 applicants (2,253 divided by 60,377, then multiplied by 100 for the percentage), the acceptance rate was 3.73%.

What happened at Columbia University? ›

In the early hours of April 30, a group of pro-Palestinian organizers entered and occupied Columbia University's Hamilton Hall after divestment negotiations with the administration failed.

What is Columbia University proud of? ›

Columbia University in New York City holds a well-earned reputation as one of the most prestigious institutions in the world and one of the premier Ivy League universities. Columbia University boasts exceptional faculty, including many world-class scholars, researchers, and industry experts.

When did Yale admit girls? ›

November 1968

The Yale Corporation secretly votes in favor of full coeducation, or accepting women into Yale College, in the fall of 1969. On November 4th, Coeducation week commences. 750 women from 22 colleges arrive on campus.

Who went to Yale at age 13? ›

Jonathan Edwards, a 1720 alumnus, theologian and child prodigy, was admitted to Yale at age 13, and went on to become one of the most celebrated theologians of his era.

When did Yale admit black students? ›

In 1870, Edward Alexander Bouchet became the first black person to enroll in Yale College. Bouchet, also the son of a Yale employee, was the valedictorian of the Hopkins School in New Haven. He was the first African American in the country elected to Phi Beta Kappa and ranked sixth in the Class of 1874.

Did Yale University back down after telling student to fatten up or face expulsion? ›

A naturally thin student who weighs 92 lbs and stands 5ft 2in tall has won a battle with Yale University after refusing to force-feed herself with junk food to prove she was not suffering from an eating disorder.

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