Columbia Student Suspended Over 'Resistance 101' Event Refuses To Leave Campus, Calls for 'Intifada'

'We will resist institutional repression just as the Palestinians have resisted occupation,' Aidan Parisi says

Aidan Parisi (@itsaidanbitch Twitter)
April 10, 2024

A Columbia University graduate student who was suspended over his involvement in the now-infamous "Palestinian Resistance 101" event is refusing to leave campus and pledging to "resist institutional repression just as the Palestinians have resisted occupation."

Aidan Parisi, a graduate student in Columbia's School of Social Work, received an "interim" suspension over his involvement in the event, which featured a number of terror-tied speakers who advocated for violence against Jews. While the suspension requires Parisi to leave campus and bars him from returning without prior approval, he is refusing to leave, he announced in a string of social media posts.

"Over the weekend I have been unable to leave my home in fear of an illegal lockout by my landlord, Columbia University," Parisi, who lives in an on-campus apartment, wrote in a Monday tweet. In a follow-up on Tuesday, he wrote, "Update on my illegal eviction by Columbia: I am still in my home. Columbia has tried to intimidate me into leaving, but has yet to follow the legal procedures."

Parisi also pledged to "resist"  what he called "institutional repression" at Columbia and praised the "intifada."

"We will resist institutional repression just as the Palestinians have resisted occupation," he wrote on Instagram. "Que viva la intifada. … Inshallah, we will rise victorious." Parisi has a long history of anti-American and anti-Israel activism, having posted a photo of the two nations' flags burning on July 4, 2020. "No love for any colonizer flag," he wrote in his caption.

Parisi's noncompliance comes as Columbia's president, Minouche Shafik, prepares for an April 17 congressional hearing on campus anti-Semitism. In the build-up to the hearing, Shafik has suspended four students involved in the "Resistance 101" event and launched an investigation into others.

Students who refuse to participate in the investigation will be disciplined, as will those who attended another unsanctioned anti-Israel event held Thursday, Columbia administrators said last week. It's unclear how and whether the university will follow through on those threats and enforce its suspension of Parisi. A Columbia spokeswoman said the school "continues to work through the disciplinary process."

Columbia informed Parisi of his suspension last Wednesday, making him unable to participate in classes and extracurriculars or to enter campus without prior arrangements. The student was given 24 hours' notice to leave his campus apartment.

The now-infamous "Resistance 101" event, which the Washington Free Beacon attended virtually, was hosted by Columbia University Apartheid Divest, a coalition of student groups, on March 24. The event featured speakers who explicitly endorsed terrorism against Jews.

Charlotte Kates, a member of the Israeli-designated terror group Samidoun, praised Hamas's Oct. 7 terror attack for showing "the potential of a future for Palestine liberated from Zionism." Khaled Barakat, a Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine activist, also lauded the terror group's airplane hijackings as "one of the most important tactics that the Palestinian resistance have engaged in."

In addition to Kates and Barakat, the March 24 event featured Within Our Lifetime founder Nerdeen Kiswani, who has called for Israel to be "wiped off the map." The three speakers routinely praised Hamas and Hezbollah, advocated for armed resistance against Israel, and encouraged attendees to "be of service … to the resistance movements that are on the front lines fighting Zionism."

Columbia University Apartheid Divest hosted another unsanctioned rally in the wake of the "Resistance 101" event, testing the will of the university to follow through on its threats to discipline attendees. According to a letter obtained by the Free Beacon, the university did not receive adequate notice of the rally. "Thus your promotion, advertisement, and/or participation in an unregistered event will result in disciplinary action," wrote Columbia's chief operating officer, Cas Holloway.

Columbia University Apartheid Divest tied the school's "crack down on pro-Palestine events" to Shafik's impending congressional testimony.

"The timing of this email is no mistake," the group wrote in its newsletter, referencing Columbia's disciplinary threat. "Minouche Shafik and leaders of the Board of Trustees will be testifying at a congressional hearing in front of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce on April 17th."

Update 3:37 p.m.: This piece has been updated to reflect a response from Columbia University.