Meet the Rich Kids, Professors, and Activists Arrested at Columbia in April

The Washington Free Beacon’s guide to occupying a Columbia campus building

July 2, 2024

Eloise Maybank is accustomed to luxury. A London native, Maybank attended high school at a private French academy in London, the renowned Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle de Londres, and then at Milton Academy, an elite Massachusetts boarding school where tuition runs $76,000 a year. Then she enrolled at Columbia.

Maybank was among approximately 100 people arrested at Columbia University in late April for storming and occupying a campus building. Of those arrested, 45 were charged with third-degree criminal trespassing, public records show. At a hearing last month, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office dismissed cases against 31 of those people. Prosecutors told the 14 others that charges against them would be dropped if they avoided arrest for the next six months, but the defendants rejected that offer and will return to court in late July.

A Washington Free Beacon review of those charged shows they included several Columbia University, Barnard College, and New York University students and recent graduates, a City University of New York professor, and a wealthy outside activist also facing charges for setting an Israel supporter’s flag aflame during the April protest.

Maybank is not the only student arrested in April who comes from wealth and privilege.

Eloise Maybank
Julia Jackson
Madelyn McGuigan

Also arrested were Julia Jackson, an alumna of New York University and New Hampshire’s Phillips Exeter Academy—tuition $70,000 a year—as well as Barnard College graduate Madelyn McGuigan, the daughter of finance executive Chris McGuigan, the owner of a picturesque home valued at $2.2 million in the beachside town of Rumson, New Jersey, the Free Beacon found. Both McGuigan and Jackson will return to court in late July after rejecting the deal offered by prosecutors.

Then there is Columbia graduate student and self-described "medievalist" Grant Miner, the son of veteran California lobbyist and former Arnold Schwarzenegger aide Paul Miner, the owner of a $1.8 million Sacramento home, real estate records show. In October, just two days after Hamas's terror attack on the Jewish state, Grant Miner was photographed at a New York City rally holding a sign that read, "Resistance against occupation is a human right."

Grant Miner

Others came from less privileged backgrounds and attended Columbia thanks to the generosity of others. That was the case for Sebastian Jimenez, who graduated from Columbia in May. He was the recipient of a scholarship underwritten by Columbia alumni that paid his tuition. Jimenez, who was booted from campus after his April 30 arrest, also sued Columbia to regain access to his campus dorm.

CUNY professor Elizabeth Reade is also among those who still face charges. The Department of Education said last month that CUNY was one of two schools that had failed to protect Jewish students, and the school has spent the past several years grappling with campus anti-Semitism. The school drew criticism after putting its chief diversity officer, Saly Abd Alla, a former director of a regional branch of the Council on American Islamic Relations, in charge of a series of "diversity dialogues."

Reade is represented in the case by Victoria Marie Ruiz, a former New York public defender who resigned from the job in November 2023 after she was filmed tearing down posters of Israeli hostages in New York City. Ruiz went on to raise tens of thousands of dollars through a GoFundMe she launched to "help out with legal fees" and "living costs between jobs."

"Our incredible friend is under attack," a member of Ruiz's punk rock band wrote on the fundraising page.

One of the leaders behind the Hamilton Hall occupation, the 40-year-old professional agitator James Carlson, is the son of prominent advertising executives Richard Tarlow and Sandy Carlson Tarlow, the New York Post reported last month. In 2019, he bought a three-story townhouse in Brooklyn's Park Slope for $2.3 million. Carlson is also facing criminal mischief and arson charges after he was caught on video setting an Israeli flag on fire outside of Columbia's campus. During the ordeal, another activist hit a pro-Israel demonstrator in the face with a rock.

Others arrested include Columbia graduate student and fellow protest leader Aidan Parisi, the son of longtime State Department official Elizabeth Daugharty. Columbia suspended Parisi over his involvement in a pro-terror "Palestinian Resistance 101" event held on campus in March, barring him from campus. But Parisi refused to leave his university apartment, saying that doing so would require him to find "housing that would accept his emotional support rabbit," and later emerged as a constant presence in the encampment that plagued campus for weeks. Police arrested Parisi during their April 30 campus sweep.

Of the 46 protesters arrested over the occupation of Hamilton Hall, 3 have ties to Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), the Free Beacon found.

Catherine Curran-Groome, a University of Vermont graduate, interned for Sanders as a student before joining People's Action, a left-wing advocacy group working to "curb climate change and end our dependence on fossil fuels." University of Virginia graduate Raiya Al-Nsour also interned for Sanders in 2019 before working as a legislative project specialist for the United Postal Workers Union.

Catherine Curran-Groome
Raiya Al-Nsour

Jackson, the NYU and Phillips Exeter graduate, volunteered for Sanders's presidential campaign as a canvasser from Oct. 2019 to April 2020, according to her LinkedIn profile. Before that, she interned in the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office under George Soros-backed prosecutor Larry Krasner, who called the Columbia arrests "stupid."

Jackson, McGuigan, Miner, and Al-Nsour did not respond to requests for comment. Parisi declined to comment. Maybank, Carlson, and Curran-Groome could not be reached.

Other Columbia arrestees have similar backgrounds in left-wing advocacy.

Columbia graduate student Marianne Almero, for example, interned at the Urban Indigenous Collective, where she engaged in "social justice advocacy to decolonize education institutions, climate justice, incarceration and police systems, and health accessibility." Rose Bottorf, an undergraduate philosophy student with the pronouns "they/she/he," taught "critical race theory and activism to children ages 14-17" as an intern at City Mission Boston, a since-shuttered nonprofit that worked to "expose systemic barriers" and "use storytelling as a healing tool for social change."

Marianne Almero
Rose Bottorf

In one case, an arrestee participated in the Hamilton Hall occupation roughly one year after Columbia honored her for her political activism. That arrestee, Andrea Salamanca, graduated from Columbia in 2023, when the university awarded her a Multicultural Graduation Cord, given to graduating students "who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to diversity, social justice, and multiculturalism."

Columbia 2024 graduate and fellow arrestee Franziska Lee, an organizer with the Columbia Revolutionary Marxist Students Organization, said she chose to minor in race and ethnicity studies because "everyone was on board with, like, leftism and critical race theory."

"Columbia has all these core required classes, so you end up with people from all different majors, which is cool in one sense," Lee said last year.

"But if you're trying to have a discussion about history or something, and people are like, 'Well, I don't think colonization is bad,' or something like that … It's like you can't get far with that," she continued. "So I like the Ethnic Studies department, because everybody is to an extent on board."

Almero, Bottorf, and Reade did not respond to requests for comment. Salamanca, Lee, and Jimenez could not be reached.