NEW YORK (PIX11) — Pro-Palestinian college and university walkouts across the New York City on Wednesday led to a security scare at one Manhattan campus.
Jewish students at The Cooper Union were locked inside the library after telling security staff that about 20 protesters made them feel unsafe.
“They were chanting, ‘Long live the Intifada,'” said one student.
Security staff at the college were alongside several NYPD community officers. Jewish students said they believed it was an attempt to intimidate and cause fear.
“I genuinely don’t know what would have happened if the doors were left open,” said Jacob, a senior.
After the protest cleared, NYPD brass, the Anti-Defamation League regional director and city officials met with the college president and students who felt victimized.
Before approaching the library, the demonstrators marched up to the president’s office, who was present and allowed them to stay, according to law enforcement sources.
“It was tense; people were nervous,” senior Gila said, adding, “The school is failing to make good on their promises to students to provide a safe and productive learning environment.”
Despite 911 calls from students and their parents, police said they did not feel any lives were in danger. Mayor Eric Adams tweeted, “While the students at Cooper Union have a right to peacefully protest, hate has no place in our city.”
Students from NYU, Columbia, CUNY and other colleges staged similar rallies to call for an end to civilian casualties and killings in Gaza as the Hamas-Israel war continues.
Police confirmed there were no other incidents relating to the walkouts.
No charges are expected because no threats were explicitly made at Cooper Union.
An NYPD spokesperson on Thursday said uniformed officers will be stationed at all college campuses in the city moving forward in response to the incident at Cooper Union.