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Columbia security breaks up new encampment before alumni weekend, social media video shows

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators picket outside Columbia University
Pro-Palestinian demonstrators picket outside Columbia University 00:23

NEW YORK -- Protesters erected a new encampment on Columbia University's campus Friday, but social media video shows security broke at least part of it up.

Columbia's student newspaper reports about two dozen demonstrators set up tents on the South Lawn.

It happened just as the school's annual alumni reunion weekend was getting underway. There was no word on any arrests. 

A Columbia spokesperson said in a statement Friday, "We are aware of the encampment erected this evening and are monitoring the situation. We remain committed to hosting a successful weekend for our alumni."

Saturday, some pro-Palestinian demonstrators formed a picket line outside the university's entrance on Broadway and 116th Street.

Video from Chopper 2 shows some tents were still set up on the campus's lawn Sunday afternoon.

Past protests at Columbia University

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators camped out on the school's main lawn for about two weeks in April, calling for Columbia to divest from companies doing business with Israel.

Discussions between school officials and student protest organizers were ongoing throughout the occupation, but they eventually broke down and students were told to dismantle their tents. Protesters then forced their way into Hamilton Hall, and Columbia President Dr. Minouche Shafik called police to clear the building and dismantle the encampments on April 30.

Over 100 people were arrested. Police say 29% of those arrested were not affiliated with the school.

Columbia University cancels main commencement

The dismantling of the encampment came just days before Columbia's main commencement ceremony was scheduled to take place, on the same lawn students had been occupying.

Columbia later canceled its main commencement, citing security concerns. Instead, dozens of smaller ceremonies were held for individual schools from May 10-15 at locations including the Baker Athletics Complex in Inwood and the Armory in Washington Heights.

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