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Jewish students were locked inside the library at Cooper Union in New York City on Oct. 25, 2023, as demonstrators pounded on the doors, held up signs, and chanted 'Free Palestine.'
Jewish students were locked inside the library at Cooper Union in New York City on Oct. 25, 2023, as demonstrators pounded on the doors, held up signs, and chanted "Free Palestine." | YouTube/Fox 5 New York

Cooper Union

Jewish students at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art were locked inside a library Wednesday as demonstrators from a pro-Palestinian rally pounded the doors and chanted "Free Palestine." The students were later evacuated from the library through tunnels. 

Jake Novak, former media director at the Israeli Consulate in New York, wrote in a Wednesday X post that the students were sitting in the library as a rally took place, with the demonstrators eventually making their way toward the building.

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Novak stated that although the New York Police Department was called after the protestors stormed the Cooper Union building, the officers did not intervene. 

As The Daily Signal reported Thursday, New York police told the outlet that they did not intervene due to the presence of Community Affairs Officers and because the school administration had allowed the protest to occur.

"The students dispersed after the incident," the statement read. "No property damage was reported, no criminal reports were filed and no threats of physical violence were made. Additionally, there were no injuries reported."

In one of the videos of the incident that circulated on X, Jewish students can be seen standing in the library as demonstrators bang on the locked doors. Protestors also held signs against the library's glass windows in full view of the Jewish students sitting at the tables nearby.

According to an updated Thursday Fox News report, Cooper Union denied reports that the Jewish students were locked in the library because they were afraid of the pro-Palestine demonstration. 

"The Library was closed for approximately 20 minutes while student protestors moved through our building," a school official said. "Some students who were previously in the library remained during this time. All students have now dispersed." 

New York City Council member Inna Vernikov shared on X Thursday that she had spoken with four Jewish students from Cooper Union. The students said the rally and walkout were supposed to take place off school property, but the protestors stormed the school building instead.

According to the students, faculty members had canceled classes and offered extra credit to those who participated in the demonstration, and Cooper Union faculty members allegedly joined the students in the protest. 

The students recalled that there were around 100 individuals protesting and only about 12 campus security guards. Vernikov wrote that the NYPD did not show up right away when called, and when the police did arrive, Cooper Union reportedly did not allow them on school grounds. 

"The DEAN of the school was ESCORTED out of the building through a SAFE back door exit by campus security. Then later allegedly claimed everything and everyone was safe," the council member wrote. 

Vernikov shared a video of the protestors standing outside of the library doors, chanting "Free Palestine," and some of the demonstrators can be seen holding sticks. 

"The Jewish students barricaded in the library were TERRIFIED, some of them SHAKEN," Vernikov said. "They believed they could've been physically assaulted and injured, and feared for their well-being. One of the slogans heard was 'Globalize the intifada from New York to Gaza.'"

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: Follow her on Twitter: @Samantha_Kamman

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