Fatima Bhutto appeals to Barnard College to stop punishing students protesting for Palestine

Fatima Bhutto appeals to Barnard College to stop punishing students protesting for Palestine

The author, a Barnard alumna, shared how she and other students could partake in protests on campus during the second Intifada without fear of reprisal.
25 Jun, 2024

Writer Fatima Bhutto has made an appeal to Barnard College in light of the suspensions, expulsions and threats made to students for their participation in pro-Palestine protests on campus.

The columnist and activist recalled her own time at Barnard in a video shared on Instagram, recounting how she and other students were able to partake in protests on campus without facing disciplinary actions for exercising their rights.

Bhutto graduated from Barnard in 2004. She majored in Asian and Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures.

“When I was a student at Barnard the second Intifada had broken out and Israeli occupation forces then, as they are now, committed grave acts of violence,” she said in the video.

“I went to protests on the Barnard campus on the Columbia campus. I went to strikes, sit-ins, and teach-ins, and never once got expelled, suspended or threatened with disciplinary charges,” The New Kings of the World writer shared.

Bhutto said that Barnard students today are doing what they’re doing out of enormous moral courage and clarity. “They are standing up against the crime of the century. This is the crime of our lifetime. And all those students are acting, not out of just moral courage and clarity, but out of heart and a duty to social justice.”

She urged the college to pardon the students and drop all disciplinary actions against them in order to be on the right side of history.

“I’d like to ask Barnard, as a graduate myself, to grant amnesty to all student protesters, to drop the disciplinary charges, to reverse the suspensions, and to stop the expulsions. Barnard, if it wants to be on the right side of history has to protect its students and protect those students who are fighting for a just world for all people and all Palestinians,” she concluded.

In April, Bhutto shared a letter she wrote to the president of Barnard College after several Columbia University and Barnard College students were suspended for organising and participating in pro-Palestine protests on campus.

This also led to them being arrested for ‘trespassing’ after the Columbia University president issued a complaint to the NYPD.

The decision to suspend the students for exercising their right to peaceful protests, leading to many of them being locked out of their dorms and practically rendered homeless, garnered immense criticism online and from Columbia faculty, members of which walked out in solidarity.

The protests spread to other campuses, including Yale and MIT. Police arrested dozens of people at the demonstrations at Yale in Connecticut and New York University in Manhattan as well.


Aijaz Ali Khuwaja Jun 25, 2024 12:52pm
Fatima Bhutto is on the right side of history. She is playing a central role in today's HR issues. I also wrote in Dawn about student's agitation in America and role of our universities. I hope Bernard university will free all students.
Waqas Shaikh Jun 25, 2024 03:47pm
I commend Fatima Bhutto for standing up for the courageous students and Palestinian people. She kept the Bhutto family's tradition of always supporting the oppressed people around the globe.
Recommend Jun 25, 2024 03:48pm
As a Barnard graduate of the class of 1950, I am appalled by the actions of the Columbia community against the students in 2024. They do not represent the values with whi
Taj Ahmad- USA Jun 25, 2024 05:26pm
The great Fatima Bhutto always follows her grandfather steps Mr. Z A Bhutto and her Aunt Benazir Bhutto and I wish her to become Pakistan’s next Prime Minister.
Syed Hasni Jun 25, 2024 05:27pm
“Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.” ― Leonardo da Vinci “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A liberal Art college in NY should at least uphold what they teach. Why will someone pay 80K per year to get a degree like that?
Taj Ahmad- USA Jun 25, 2024 05:34pm
Fatima Bhutto and her brother both are not fully involved in Politics in Pakistan but they are involved in social activities in Pakistan and abroad and voiced on domestic and international issues concerned to common people. What a great job being done by these two sister and brother.
Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Jun 25, 2024 07:25pm
Why it took her so long, on the 263rd day of Israeli's barbaric and brutal Gaza attack, invasion, occupation and annexation to lodge her appeal to her alma mater?
Taj Ahmad Jun 25, 2024 07:28pm
Protest by students for social justice and equality anywhere in the world or in Israel or Palestine should not be punishable to students by Bernard College or Columbia University administrator’s. Please removed these charges on all students and let them free and focus on their further studies now. Thanks to all.
Sal Jun 25, 2024 08:49pm
Well said, Ms. Bhutto! Your father would have been proud! No one from the Pak. administration, the so-called ‘champions of the Kashmiri and Palestinian causes’, have yet to utter a succinct and unequivocal condemnation of heavy-handed tactics employed by US colleges and the law enforcement agencies (working hand in glove with the ‘yahu regime) vis à vis the peaceful student protestors.
Regs Jun 25, 2024 09:21pm
Schools & colleges are for education, not political calls. If one wishes to raise them, do them outside the campus not inside it.
M. Shahid Yousuf Jun 25, 2024 10:46pm
Is it not strange that leaders of Pakistan are silent while a private citizen has the courage to speak up ?
Hamed Jun 25, 2024 11:41pm
What do you expect from USA "Justice"!
Hassam Farid Jun 26, 2024 07:42am
This is hypocrisy. As self-proclaimed defender and protector of democratic ideals, America itself is robbing its citizens of the fundamental rights of speech and peaceful assembly. The real test to prove what one stands for is when it goes against ones interest. Otherwise, any player can easily enact that which doesn't harm his interest at any level. In the same manner, America retains it's stance on good ideals as long as those ideals promote their vested interest. As soon as the ideals pose a threat to it, it wastes not a minute to withdraw from them...
imDad ali Jun 26, 2024 04:02pm
Peaceful protest is the basic right of every citizen. Students were protesting due to inhumane treatment with Palestinians in the campus. They did not take law into their hands. Protest was peaceful. No writ of law was challenged. In the past Fatima bhutto former alma of the same university had also record her protest in the same institute, however, no action was taken against her. Neither she had been suspended nor expelled from the university. Now this step of the university administration is beyond the law. It will be tantamount to the turn the future of the Brillant students of the great university towards darkness. Therefore, the administration should look into this on humantratian grounds and forgive the students.