Columbia protesters claim right to set up tent city...and also keep out journalists

Columbia protesters claim right to set up tent city...and also keep out journalists

Columbia protesters claim right to set up tent city...and also keep out journalists

Now that armies of anti-Israel protesters have taken over college campuses across the country, they are demanding the non-existent right to set up camps and protest – and are also claiming the right to exclude unwelcomed journalists from entering.

Michael Duke, a senior correspondent for Campus Reform, experienced that harassment first hand this week on the Columbia University campus. Despite having press credentials recognized by the school, he video-recorded students acting as security guards to keep him out at the so-called “Gaza Solidarity Encampment.”  

“When I was allowed on campus,” he recalls, “I walked into a faculty walkout in support and in solidarity of the ongoing Israel and Palestine issue, and in support of the Gaza solidarity encampment.”

When he walked to the encampment, however, which is also on the campus, Duke was told by two people to stop filming. At the guarded entrance, he was not allowed in despite other journalists entering and exiting the school property he has university permission to enter. 

“Some of the reporters were being let in,” Duke tells AFN. “I was told that they had pre-approved appointments by the organizers of the protest.”

Duke's experience at Columbia mirrors the experience of Rikki Schlott, a New York Post reporter. While standing outside the sea of tents, Schlott recorded her encounter with an activist who asked her to respect people's "privacy" and not film them. 

In his video-recorded encounter at the encampment entrance, the Campus Reform reporter gets the old-fashioned run-around from the left-wing activists. After a masked, keffiyeh-wearing young man informs Duke the encampment is “at capacity” for visiting reporters, Duke points out he has seen several reporters leaving. The young man then says reporters must have “pre-approved appointments” to enter. After Duke asks the young man to check on that list, and after a new camera crew is seen exiting the encampment, Duke’s low-key request turns into a confrontation.

By the time the five-minute recording ends, the activists are physically blocking Duke from recording.

“A lot of the students in and around the encampment were mentioning that the encampment itself was sovereign territory, not Columbia University's property,” Duke says.

In other incidents posted to X, a video-recording at Northwestern University shows protesters assaulting an unnamed student journalist who was filming them set up tents. 

On the campus at the University of Pennsylvania, Daily Signal correspondent Tim Kennedy recorded his encounter with protesters during a campus demonstration. He described how "event organizers" demanded to know what media outlet he was with. He also records the Antifa-like tactics to keep him from recording. 

"The resistance won't stop," one of the protesters tells Kennedy during a confrontation.