Worker Claims Rioters Held Him Hostage

( – A Columbia University facilities worker said on April 30 that anti-Israel rioters held him hostage after they violently entered the campus and took one of its buildings. The janitor, who didn’t reveal his name, claims that the pro-Palestine protesters took him and barricaded the building’s doors.

The worker described feeling scared, believing that he was in the middle of an insurrection. The anonymous man also said he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, finding himself in the exact building the rioters violently took. The janitor added that he wasn’t injured, and they eventually allowed him to leave.

The incident started when the demonstrators decided to storm the Hamilton Hall academic building, shattering most of its windows and barricading doors using chairs and tables. The agitators were mostly from among the demonstrators who were staying in the hundreds of tents placed on the campus’s academic lawn.

While the demonstrators were acting violently, with some cases of vandalism inside the campus, the situation escalated after the university administrators decided to suspend all students who didn’t leave the encampment. Authorities stated that one group decided to storm the building at midnight, blocking all entrances with zip-ties, tables, wooden chairs, and even some “metal gates.” They added that another group remained outside the building and locked their arms in front of it to create a human barricade, preventing anyone from entering or leaving.

The group that was outside also placed a large banner over the building, changing its name to “Hind’s Hall,” in a way to honor a 6-year-old Palestinian girl named Hind Rajab, who died in Gaza during Israel’s military operation. They all masked their faces, and it remains unclear if the two groups were coordinated.

Police units eventually retook the academic building, arresting hundreds of protesters. Authorities later confirmed that nearly half of those taken into custody weren’t even students enrolled at the university.

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