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Columbia University has a long history of campus protests. Here's a look back at some of them.

Columbia University pro-Palestinian encampment returns
Columbia University pro-Palestinian encampment returns 04:49

NEW YORK -- Columbia University students have used the campus to stage demonstrations for decades - long before the latest pro-Palestinian protests. Columbia is currently holding classes remotely as hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters occupy the campus South Lawn.   

The student body at Columbia has a long history of activism, making their voices heard in some of the country's most important cultural debates.

Vietnam War protests, 1968

In 1968, students opposing U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War occupied several buildings on campus.  That protest lasted a week before police were brought in. Some protesters suffered minor injuries, according to a New York Times report

Columbia Unversity Demonstration Protest
Rebellious students at Columbia University Demonstration Protest. (Photo By: Charles Ruppmann/NY Daily News via Getty Images) New York Daily News

Anti-apartheid protests, 1984

In 1984, students led anti-apartheid protests calling on Columbia to divest from South Africa. Demonstrators gathered at the entrance to Hamilton Hall, one of the same buildings occupied in the 1968 demonstrations. 

Anti-Apartheid Protest
An anti-apartheid protest by students at the entrance to the Hamilton Hall building of Columbia University, New York City, 4th April 1984. The protestors are calling for the university to divest itself of its investments in South Africa. / Getty Images

Sexual assault protests, 2014

Thirty years later, in the wake of the Ray Rice scandal, some students carried mattresses around to draw attention to the issue of on-campus sexual assaults and the university's handling of reported rapes

Columbia Student Carries Mattress Around Campus Until Her Alleged Rapist Is Expelled
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 05: Emma Sulkowicz (L), a senior visual arts student at Columbia University, carries a mattress, with the help of three strangers in protest of the university's lack of action after she reported being raped during her sophomore year. Andrew Burton / Getty Images

Climate Change, 2019

In March 2019, Columbia students held one of the largest rallies in New York City during a national strike over climate change. Students in over 130 cities skipped classes in protest.

Jay Inslee (D), Governor of the state of Washington, seen
NEW YORK, NY, UNITED STATES - 2019/03/15: Jay Inslee (D), Governor of the state of Washington, seen speaking during the Climate Strike at Columbia University in New York City, NY. Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Israel-Hamas war, 2023

Weeks after Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7, 2023, hundreds of students gathered at the center of campus protesting Columbia's decision to suspend the "Students for Justice in Palestine" and "Jewish Voice for Peace" groups for the semester.

Columbia And Barnard Alumni Protest Suspension Of Student Groups
NEW YORK -: People gather to protest the banning of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) at Columbia University on November 20, 2023 in New York City.  Michael M Santiago/Getty Images / Getty Images

Columbia's Special Committee on Campus Safety said, "The two groups repeatedly violated university policies related to holding campus events, culminating in an unauthorized event ... that proceeded despite warnings and included threatening rhetoric and intimidation."

An aerial view of Columbia University's campus shows the size of the encampment on the South Lawn of the Campus on April 22, 2024.  CBS2

The pro-Palestinian protests at Columbia have now been ongoing for nearly a week. The NYPD previously removed protesters that had built a makeshift encampment on the South Lawn, but a few days later, the tents had returned. 

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