Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-Brooklyn) has asked Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to investigate the forcible removal of four Jewish students from an event at Brooklyn College.
On Thursday (February 7) the group Students for Justice in Palestine and the Brooklyn College Political Science Department staged a well-publicized event “The BDS Movement Against Israel” where four Brooklyn College students were grabbed by security at the behest of the event’s organizers and forcibly ejected from the forum. While a demonstration against the event was taking place nearby, these four Jewish students chose to attend the event with the intention of asking tough questions and distributing leaflets offering an opposing position.
“All four students had reserved seating for the event,” said Assemblyman Hikind in a letter to the Attorney General. “The students were sitting quietly as the first speaker addressed the audience; in their laps were leaflets that contained opposing points of view. They were approached by an event organizer who demanded their papers and when they refused to surrender their property, they were manhandled out of the room by campus security.
“This is a civil rights violation. The physical, forcible removal of these four students from this event specifically violates Brooklyn College’s non-discrimination policy, which states that students will not be excluded from participation in the programs of the college because of national or ethnic origin, or religion.”
Although Brooklyn College has said that it will investigate the matter, Assemblyman Hikind believes an independent investigation by the Attorney General’s office is necessary. “We need to ensure that all students’ freedom of speech remains unhampered at Brooklyn College, and not just the free speech of students belonging to select groups.”