Scenes from the Columbia 'Liberated Zone' (Update)

AP Photo/Stefan Jeremiah

Over the past few days we've gotten a more detailed account of what is happening inside the Columbia "Liberated Zone" and it sounds like the same leftist nonsense we've seen in every one of these far-left occupations going back to Occupy Wall Street in 2011.


Inside the gates, megaphones and drums echoed as hundreds of my Ivy League classmates marched in procession, waving Palestinian flags while chanting, “Free Palestine” and “Divulge! Divest!”

The vast majority seemed interested in protecting their identities — wearing keffiyehs and N-95s to obscure their faces.

They weren’t interested in talking to the media...

Within the makeshift encampment, occupiers were hardly saving the world: They casually mingled, sipping Dunkin’ Donuts coffee next to signs reading, “Gaza Solidarity Encampment” and “Join Us.”

As the author pointed out the other day on X, protesters are calling Columbia the "People's University for Palestine" without noting it costs nearly $90k a year to attend.

More recently the Atlantic published a similar piece describing how the protesters are excluding Jewish students as outsiders on their own campus.

“Attention, everyone! We have Zionists who have entered the camp!” a protest leader calls out. His head is wrapped in a white-and-black keffiyeh. “We are going to create a human chain where I’m standing so that they do not pass this point and infringe on our privacy.”...

Dozens stand and echo the leader’s commands in unison, word for word. “So that we can push them out of the camp, one step forward! Another step forward!” The protesters lock arms and step toward the interlopers, who as it happens are three fellow Columbia students, who are Jewish and pro-Israel...

Many protesters argue that, from the river to the sea, the settler-colonialist state must simply disappear. To inquire, as I did at Columbia, what would happen to Israelis living under a theocratic fascist movement such as Hamas is to ask the wrong question. A young female protester, who asked not to be identified for fear of retribution, responded: “Maybe Israelis need to check their privilege.”


Eventually, the author spoke to Danny Shaw who has a masters from Columbia and now spends all his time teaching anti-Zionist seminars in the Liberated Zone. Shaw used to have a job John Jay College of Criminal Justice where he worked for 18 years, but he was fired.

He was labeled an anti-Semite and remains deeply pained by that. He advised me to look up what he said and judge for myself. So I did, right on the spot.

Shortly after October 7, he posted this on X: “Zionists are straight Babylon swine. Zionism is beyond a mental illness; it’s a genocidal disease.”

Shaw's post about "Babylon swine" was featured on the Stop Anti-Semitism X account last year.

Shaw is apparently a member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation and has traveled to Cuba, Venezuela, China and Vietnam. So if your child is part of the Liberated Zone, this is who is teaching him or her now. 

Columbia has announced that hybrid classes will continue for the rest of the semester. Finals last until May 10 and that's how long student protesters have vowed to remain. According to the protest group, Columbia has promised there won't be anymore "state violence" meaning police arrests on campus.


Negotiations have been taking place and it sounds like the protesters will remove some of the tents

Columbia University has said it is making "important progress" with representatives of the student encampment on campus calling for the divestment of college and university funds from Israeli military operations.

"We are making important progress with representatives of the student encampment on the West lawn," Columbia University said in a statement released early Wednesday, adding that student protesters have committed to dismantling and removing a significant number of tents and that protesters will ensure that those not affiliated with Columbia will leave.

Does that mean Danny Shaw will have to leave? I guess we'll see if the protesters actually follow through on these commitments to paring back the Liberated Zone.

Update: Some gallows humor feels appropriate.


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