Press Contact: Sophie Ellman-Golan |

Jews For Racial & Economic Justice condemns the NYPD’s militarized response to student protesters

NEW YORK -- Following a night of militarized NYPD violence against student protesters at Columbia University and the City College of New York, Audrey Sasson, Executive Director at Jews For Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ) released the following statement:

We are outraged and horrified by the hyper-militarized police response we saw last night to student protesters at Columbia University and City College.
Last night, members of Jews For Racial & Economic Justice witnessed NYPD officers charging at the crowd, kettling people, throwing people to the ground and beating them with batons, and indiscriminate arrests without warning. Video footage from Columbia shows NYPD officers storming Hamilton Hall with batons out and guns drawn. Other footage from Columbia shows the NYPD throwing a student down a flight of stairs.
JFREJ has organized against police violence for over three decades. The brutality we are witnessing now is what happens when a mass movement rises up with a message that people in power want to silence and violently repress. Across the country, students are speaking out against US-backed occupation, apartheid, and genocide of Palestinians. This movement is multiracial, multi-faith, multi-generational, and global – and it is this fierce solidarity that most threatens those whose power relies on fear and division.
No student, no protest, merits this level of militarized violence. But it is all the more outrageous considering the non-violent nature of the student protesters. Every step of the way, Mayor Adams, and the Columbia University administration, and numerous pundits and politicians have chosen to escalate the situation.
To add insult to injury, this state violence is being carried out and defended in the name of Jewish safety, erasing the active involvement of Jewish students in the encampments and pitting Jews against our neighbors and against the basic tenets of free speech.
Through our outrage and concern for these student protesters, we remain focused on what these Gaza solidarity encampments are about in the first place: the ongoing genocide of Palestinians. As Jewish New Yorkers, we are in full solidarity with these courageous students.

JFREJ previously released this statement, and published this opinion piece, about the response to the Columbia/Barnard student encampment.


Jews For Racial & Economic Justice (JFREJ) is a 6,000-member grassroots organization and the home of New York’s Jewish Left. For over 30 years, JFREJ members have organized alongside our neighbors to transform New York from a playground for the wealthy few into a real democracy, free from all forms of racist violence.