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Around 100 rally to support pro-Palestine demonstrators from Columbia during ADOCH

Protest coincided with pro-Israel demonstration by BSI in support of hostages

On Friday, around 100 students rallied in support of the 113 pro-Palestinian demonstrators arrested at Columbia University on Thursday. 

The protest intentionally coincided with A Day on College Hill, during which admitted students and their families toured campus. It also coincided with an installation by Brown Students for Israel which paid tribute to approximately 130 hostages believed to be held in Gaza during the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. Organizers of both demonstrations said they had been unaware of the other’s activities. 

At around noon, the protesters gathered at the intersection of George and Brown Streets as ADOCH attendees passed by. 

Organizers said that the demonstrations by the Brown Divest Coalition and Jews for Ceasefire Now came as a response to the arrest of student activists who had been camping on Columbia’s campus and calling for divestment from Israel.

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A BDC statement shared with The Herald described Columbia’s deployment of the New York Police Department and Brown’s pursuit of criminal convictions as “instances of the rise in police presence and arrests in universities’ responses to student activism.

The statement also noted that many of Brown’s accomplishments, “including the establishment of the Open Curriculum, need-blind admissions, the Brown Center for Students of Color and divestment from South African Apartheid,” came on the tail of  student activist campaigns. 

“Incoming students ought to be aware of the true history of Brown’s response to student activism,” the statement read.

The BDC also organized around a dozen people to chronicle nearly 251 years of activism on the University’s campus on the sidewalks of the Ruth J. Simmons Quadrangle using chalk. 

Sam Theoharis ’24, one of the demonstration’s lead organizers, told The Herald that BDC planned for their activities to coincide with ADOCH programming. “This is a history that we’re really proud of,” he said. “We want to share this history with both current students and prospective students alike.”

Theoharis said he hoped visiting students would come away with the impression that “student activism in particular is inseparable from Brown.” 

“Protests are a lot of the reason why Brown has become the diverse community that it is,” said Sarah Ogundare ’24, one of the other lead organizers of the demonstration. “Part of acknowledging that history is also carrying that forward.”

Both Theoharis and Ogundare said that there has been “an escalation in University repression” towards activism on campus, referring to the 61 arrests over two sit-ins at University Hall in 2023. The University has escalated consequences between the first group of 20 demonstrators and the second group of 41, The Herald previously reported.   

The University did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.

This is the second year in a row that activist demonstrations have coincided with ADOCH. At last year’s admitted students’ day, Sunrise Brown and Students for Educational Equity hosted a rally calling for Brown to increase its voluntary payments to the city of Providence, commonly known as Payments in Lieu of Taxes, or PILOT agreements. The city council approved additional payment agreements in October 2023. 

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Additional reporting by Ryan Doherty and Owen Dahlkamp

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Tom Li

Tom Li is a Metro Editor covering the Health & Environment and Development & Infrastructure beats. He is from Pleasanton, California, and is concentrating in Economics and International & Public Affairs. He is an avid RIPTA passenger and enjoys taking (and criticizing) personality tests in his free time.


Avani Ghosh

Avani Ghosh is a Metro Editor covering politics & justice and community & activism. She is a sophomore from Ohio studying Health & Human Biology and International & Public Affairs. She is an avid earl grey enthusiast and can be found making tea in her free time.



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