MIT Students Break in After Police Raid, Columbia Cancels Graduation

This MIT raid does not look violent. They tore down some barriers, but that’s it.

The Republicans will of course paint anything they do as violent.

No one is going to be changing their mind about anything anytime soon.


Pro-Palestinian protesters that had been blocked by police from accessing an encampment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Monday broke through fencing, linked arms and encircled tents that remained there, as Columbia University canceled its university-wide commencement ceremony following weeks of demonstrations.

Sam Ihns, a graduate student at MIT studying mechanical engineering and a member of MIT Jews for a Ceasefire, said the group has been at the encampment for the past two weeks and that they were calling for an end to the killing of thousands of people in Gaza.

Specifically, our encampment is protesting MIT’s direct research ties to the Israeli Ministry of Defense,” he said.

Protesters also sat in the middle of Massachusetts Avenue, blocking the street temporarily during rush hour in the Boston area. By evening the atmosphere around the MIT protest grew less tense with protesters listening to speeches and joining chants before taking a pizza dinner break.

Police in large part had pulled back from the encampment after offering a more robust presence earlier in the day. An MIT spokesperson said the fencing was breached after the arrival of demonstrators from outside the university and that no arrests had been made by Monday night.

Columbia’s decision to cancel its main ceremonies scheduled for May 15 saves its president, Minouche Shafik, from having to deliver a commencement address in the same part of campus where police dismantled a protest encampment last week.

If they’re canceling ceremonies now, they’re probably just going to shut down summer classes and just pass rules that say no one is allowed on campus at all, other than cleaning staff.

If they shut down campuses totally right now, they can then implement new laws in the fall to ban criticism of Jews. By then, maybe we’ll have laws saying that if you say anything about Jews, police can shoot you on sight, and protesters can just be gunned down in mass.

Regardless, it’s clear that these protests are not going to be allowed much longer. Scenes from Rafah along with the spirit of summertime are going to make more and more people start showing up.

The question now is whether these protesters will move off campus. I assume they will. The obvious thing is to start camping in front of government buildings on public property.