Boots & Sabers

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2112, 04 May 24

Outside Agitators Join Protests


Large, drawn-out protests like the one at Columbia have a tendency to attract people with a diffuse set of ideologies and motivations, experts say. Roughly 30% of those arrested at Hamilton Hall on Tuesday had no affiliation with the school, according to university officials.


But while there is no doubt that the occupation of the building amounted to a dramatic escalation in tactics, it remains unclear how large an influence outsiders like Carlson have had on the overall student protest movement at Columbia and nearby colleges, which began more than two weeks ago.


Some of the student protesters think the narrative pushed by city and university officials — of dangerous outsiders co-opting the demonstrations — is fueled by ulterior motives.


“I really struggle a lot with the whole narrative of outside agitators because I see it as a means through which to justify violence,” Soph Askanse, a junior at the neighboring Barnard College, said in an interview. “And to claim that because individuals are not students, they are thus deserving of police brutality.”

The entitlement dripping off of the students is ridiculous. The underlying assumption is that students are a special class of adults who should be immune from consequences for their actions. I don’t care if they are a student or a 42-year-old anarchist from Oregon… if they are breaking the law, they should be arrested.


2112, 04 May 2024


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