Following Lawfare Project suit, Columbia University updates policy for protests on campus

Leading pro-bono Jewish legal organization recently filed lawsuit on behalf of Jewish student against Columbia University.

An anti-Israel "apartheid wall" on display at Columbia University during "Israeli Apartheid Week" in 2017. Source: Facebook.
An anti-Israel "apartheid wall" on display at Columbia University during "Israeli Apartheid Week" in 2017. Source: Facebook.

The Lawfare Project, along with Eric Levine of Eiseman Levine Lehrhaupt & Kakoyiannis, P.C., announced that Columbia University has updated its University for Safe Demonstrations policy on campus. This comes following a recent lawsuit by the Lawfare Project against Columbia University on behalf of Mackenzie, a Jewish student who was the target of an alleged antisemitic retaliation campaign. 

According to Columbia, the new policy requires that demonstrations “do not disrupt academic life on campus,” and it “does not allow protest activity in academic spaces.”

“Columbia is only now attempting to take steps to protect students on their campus from pro-Hamas mobs but why is this only happening now? The administration has much more work to do to address underlying antisemitism,” said Brooke Goldstein, founder and executive director of the Lawfare Project. “We filed our recent suit against the university because they failed to protect Mackenzie Forrest—a Jewish student—from alleged antisemitism and did not provide her with reasonable accommodations to engage in her academic career which she is legally entitled to. We hope that Columbia and other higher education institutions create real systemic change  to ensure that their students can learn in safe environments free from hate.”

The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief and monetary damages based on federal, state and common law claims arising out of the retaliation Mackenzie experienced after requesting religious and safety accommodations, and for the pervasively hostile environment she was subjected to because of her status as a Jew.

For more information about the Lawfare Project, visit their website or contact James Lambert, vice president at Rubenstein Public Relations, at jlambert@rubnesteinpr.com or at: 212-805-3024.

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The Lawfare Project is a nonprofit legal think tank based in New York City that mobilizes public officials, media, jurists and legal experts to counter the international lawfare phenomenon: the abuse of the law as a weapon of war against Western democracy. Through its Legal Fund, the LP facilitates and finances offensive and defensive counter-lawfare actions regarding pressing issues that include, among others: fighting terror-front organizations operating in the United States and Canada; bigoted and unlawful international commercial discrimination based on ethnicity and national origin; and the perversion and misapplication of international and national human rights law against the United States and other democracies.
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