US House Speaker Johnson booed during speech at Columbia University

US House Speaker Johnson booed during speech at Columbia University

Heckling began moment Johnson took to podium alongside other Republican colleagues

By Servet Gunerigok

WASHINGTON (AA) - US House Speaker Mike Johnson faced boos and loud chants from protesting students as he delivered a speech during his visit to Columbia University on Wednesday.

The heckling began the moment Johnson took to the podium alongside other Republican colleagues. His visit aimed to condemn alleged antisemitism and pro-Palestine protests that have occurred on campus since last week.

Students intermittently booed and shouted at Johnson and his colleagues, chanting slogans such as "Free Palestine," "Stop the genocide" and "From the river to the sea," according to The Washington Post.

At one point, a student shouted, "Get off our campus!" while another exclaimed, "Mike, you suck!" as the Republican lawmaker concluded his speech.

"The cherished traditions of this university are being overtaken right now by radical and extreme ideologies," said Johnson. "They place a target on the backs of Jewish students in the United States here on this campus."

"I'm here today joining my colleagues in calling on (Columbia University) President (Minouche) Shafik to resign if she cannot immediately bring order to this chaos," he said.

"As speaker of the House, I am committing today that Congress will not be silent as Jewish students are expected to run for their lives and stay home from their classes, hiding in fear," he said.

During a radio interview ahead of his visit, Johnson described Shafik as a "very weak" and "inept leader."

Student-led protests demanding universities condemn Israel's war on Gaza and divest from Israeli firms continued to spread on Wednesday, with new encampments being erected in the face of law enforcement crackdowns.

Last week’s decision by Shafik to ask the New York Police Department to arrest dozens of protesters has largely served as a flashpoint for the wider protest movement.

Protests have been reported at a wide array of campuses including California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt; Yale University; the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities; Swarthmore College and the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania; the University of Rochester in New York; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Tufts University and Emerson College in Massachusetts, and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

US House Speaker Johnson booed during speech at Columbia University

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