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120 arrested at NYU protests; Find out who NYC Mayor Adams thinks may be responsible

Tension at NYU, Columbia campuses high as protests continue
Tension at NYU, Columbia campuses high as protests continue 06:27

NEW YORK -- Police arrested more than 100 protesters at NYU Monday, amid pro-Palestinian demonstrations sweeping campuses across the country. 

The NYPD said 120 people were taken into custody Monday, and four of them face criminal charges. Police also said protesters threw objects, including bottles, at officers during the arrests.

Security remained tight around the campus Tuesday. A plywood wall now blocks NYU's Gould Plaza, where demonstrators gathered Monday night. 

"This is what they had to do to preserve the safety of the students," one person said. 

"I think it's ugly and unnecessary," said another. 

Monday night's clash came days after police arrested more than 100 demonstrators at Columbia University, sparking other schools to stage similar protests in solidarity

Students and faculty set up a pro-Palestinian encampment Monday in Gould Plaza, outside NYU's Stern School of Business in Lower Manhattan. After several hours, university officials said the barricades were breached, and they "asked for assistance from the NYPD." Police in riot gear then moved in, taking down tents and taking people into custody. 

"It could've lasted longer, the way Columbia's did, without there being a confrontation," one person said Tuesday on campus. "I would say I'm not surprised with how NYU handled things."

"People have things to do around campus. I feel like, if you're going to host a protest, you should host it in a spot that's not so busy and dependent upon students' classes, because the Stern Building is right here," another person added.

School officials have not said why the wooden barrier was installed.

"We will continue to support individuals' right to freedom of expression, and, as we have said since October, the safety of our students and maintaining an equitable learning environment remain paramount," NYU said in a statement Monday night.

Some campus protests may be being infiltrated by outside agitators, Mayor Adams says

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said he believes that some of those protesting are outside agitators. 

"We strongly believe that is the case right now. That there are people who are here - they latch on to any protest. To see our police officers having bottles thrown at them, chairs," Adams said. "The number of bottles that were thrown, chairs thrown at them. People who peacefully protest an issue, they're not throwing bottles and chairs." 

Adams said some people have come to "aggravate" the situation and "to use this to cause violence in our city, and we're going to seek them out. And we're going to identify them."  

"Why is everybody's tent the same? Was there a fire sale on those tents? There's some organizing going on. There's a well-concerted organizing effort, and what's the goal of that organizing? That's what we need to be asking ourselves," Adams said. "We can't have outside agitators come in and be disruptive to our city. Someone wanted something to happen at that protest at NYU, and police officers didn't respond to it." 

Adams said he'll be meeting with university leaders, although it wasn't clear when that meeting will happen.

Get the latest on the Columbia University protests.

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