Besieged colleges advised to take cue from no-nonsense DeSantis

Besieged colleges advised to take cue from no-nonsense DeSantis

Pictured: Faculty and staff at Columbia University form a human chain in defiance of university leaders who demanded students end their encampment. 

Besieged colleges advised to take cue from no-nonsense DeSantis

Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis is being praised for taking a strong, no-nonsense stance on unlawful campus demonstrations in The Sunshine State.

In a speech that accused university leaders at Columbia and other campuses of being “too weak” to crack down on anti-Jewish protesters, DeSantis said Florida’s campuses will not let that happen.

Jewish editor's 'new favorite' Campus Reform story

Bronson Woodruff, AFN.net

Anti-Jewish protesters at Harvard University got a wet and cold wake-up call recently, when the campus sprinklers ruined their protest encampment.

According to a Campus Reform story, the “Liberated Zone” overseen by the Harvard Palestine Solidarity Committee was soaked late last week when the automatic sprinklers turned on, at 4 a.m., in 32-degree weather.

“That is my new favorite Campus Reform article of all time,” Zachary Marschall, the Jewish editor in chief of Campus Reform, tells AFN.

The story credits Kassy Akiva, a Daily Wire correspondent, for first noticing the X post from the Solidarity Committee.

The message suggests the sprinklers were “set off of students,” meaning the soaked protesters claimed Harvard deliberately set them off to punish them.  

“You do that in Florida, at our universities, we’re showing you the door,” he vowed late last week. “You’re going to be expelled.”

Florida is home to some of the largest universities in the nation, including No. 4 University of Central Florida, which has approximately 68,400 students, and No. 5 at the University of Florida with approximately 60,800 students, according to Fox News.  

Hammer, Josh (Newsweek journalist) Hammer

"I'm a very proud Floridian and I am an enthusiastic supporter of our governor," Josh Hammer, a Newsweek senior editor at large, tells AFN. “Like always, he is totally spot-on here."

According to an Associated Press story, student protesters have “dug in” on campuses across the U.S. in retaliation to Columbia University arresting more than 100 demonstrators April 18, now almost two weeks ago. In a show of defiance, students at Columbia and other campuses have created tent city “encampments” that claim to be anti-Zionist autonomous zones run by student protesters.

On the campus at Stanford University, an unnamed keffiyeh-wearing student filmed a tour of the so-called "Liberated Zone" where students are playing music, making art, and operating a flea market. "The intense police and media repression facing the movement today," the young woman concludes, "is a sign the student movement for Palestine is working." 

In another video posted to X, protesting students are shown blocking a fellow student from walking to his class on the open campus. The student, who shows his I.D., says they are blocking him and others because they are Jewish. 

As of Monday, Columbia had given students a 2 p.m. deadline to disperse from their “Gaza Solidarity Encampment" or face suspension, but the 300-plus students – suspecting a bluff – were refusing to leave.

The human chain around the encampment (pictured at top) included faculty members.  

A crackdown on campus demonstrators might upset First Amendment advocates, says Hammer, who is himself an attorney, but he argues much of what is happening is not merely a sign-waving demonstration for Palestinians.  

"You have people that are saying absolutely horrific thing, that are intimidating and harassing and creating a monstrously threatening environment, that have the effect of denying many Jewish students of their Title VI statutory rights under civil rights law," says Hammer, who is Jewish. "None of this is First Amendment-protected activity."