Friday 19 April 2024

College Suspends Ilhan Omar’s Daughter For Participating In Anti-Israel Protest At Columbia

 The daughter of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Isra Hirsi, was suspended from Barnard College for taking part in the anti-Israel protests at its partner school, Columbia University, she announced in a social media post.

“I’m an organizer with CU Apartheid Divest @ColumbiaSJP, in my 3 years at @BarnardCollege i have never been reprimanded or received any disciplinary warnings,” Hirsi tweeted. “I just received notice that i am 1 of 3 students suspended for standing in solidarity with Palestinians facing a genocide.”

In a follow-up tweet, Hirsi admitted that she took part in the “Gaza Solidarity Encampment,” which consists of protesters with tents occupying part of the university’s campus, a violation of school rules.

“Those of us in Gaza Solidarity Encampment will not be intimidated,” Hirsi said. “We will stand resolute until our demands are met. our demands include divestment from companies complicit in genocide, transparency of @Columbia’s investments and FULL amnesty for all students facing repression.”

Barnard College released a statement confirming that students were suspended and more will be if they refuse to leave.

“This morning, April 18, we started to place identified Barnard students remaining in the encampment on interim suspension, and we will continue to do so,” the statement by the college’s senior staff said. “We have temporarily restricted access to certain outdoor spaces on our campus.”

Yesterday, Omar tweeted that she hopes the students who were being threatened with arrest and suspension are not “criminalized,” without disclosing that her daughter was one of the students. It’s unclear whether she was aware of her daughter’s participation.

“Columbia has always had an incredible history of students fighting for a more just world and it’s good to see that tradition continue,” the Congresswoman tweeted. “As NYPD surrounds young activists, I hope their concerns are heard by school administrators and they not be criminalized. In solidarity.”

Another Columbia student announced her suspension on Columbia’s Students for Justice in Palestine Instagram. 

Stay tuned for action items on supporting suspended students, two of which have been evicted from housing,” the group posted.

After being threatened by their administration, the students encouraged others to protest outside of the school in solidarity. Many agitators heeded the call and showed up, lit flares, and some were arrested, Fox News reported.

Columbia’s president along with other representatives of the university testified before Congress on Wednesday, claiming that they are taking steps to improve the climate on campus.

Columbia University did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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