Private communications reveal influential business leaders encouraging NYC mayor to deploy police against Columbia protesters

On April 26, a group of billionaires and business leaders met with New York City’s Mayor Eric Adams through a Zoom video call to discuss the handling of pro-Palestinian protests at Columbia University. The attendees included Kind snack company founder Daniel Lubetzky, hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb, billionaire Len Blavatnik, and real estate investor Joseph Sitt.

During the call, some participants suggested making political donations to Mayor Adams and discussed ways they could pressure Columbia’s president and trustees to allow police presence on campus to handle the protests. The group’s efforts aimed to shape public opinion on the war in Gaza, with a focus on suppressing pro-Palestinian demonstrations at the university.

The communications obtained by The Washington Post shed light on the influential group’s efforts to influence the mayor’s actions and the university’s response to the protests. The group’s discussions highlight the significant power and influence that wealthy individuals can have on shaping public discourse and decision-making processes in key issues such as the conflict in Gaza.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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