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Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., is suggesting the National Guard should soon be called in to quell the Gaza ceasefire protests at Columbia University if they don’t peter out themselves.

Johnson and several House Republicans visited the New York City Ivy League school on Wednesday as tensions there escalate over demonstrations that have had several Jewish students speak out publicly about fear for their safety. Columbia University students and those attending its sister school, Barnard College, have set up a tent city on campus in protest of Columbia’s investments in companies linked to Israel. 

Tensions over the issue almost reached a boiling point several times during Johnson’s speech as pro-ceasefire student activists repeatedly heckled and tried to interrupt the Louisiana Republican with coordinated chants which included “We can’t hear you” and “Mike, you s—.”

“Enjoy your free speech,” Johnson shot back at the protesters at one point early on.

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Later when asked whether he would urge President Biden to call the National Guard in to the campus, Johnson said he would be speaking with the president shortly – and did not rule out suggesting federal troops.

“My intention is to call President Biden after we leave here and share with him what we have seen with our own two eyes and demand that he take action. There is executive authority that’d be appropriate if this is not contained quickly, and if these threats and intimidation are not stopped, there is an appropriate time for the National Guard,” Johnson said.

“We have to bring order to these campuses. We cannot allow this to happen around the country. We are better than this.”

Johnson attacked the demonstrators as a “mob” and specifically denounced professors and other faculty who have joined the protests.

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A pro-Palestine encampment is constructed on Columbia University’s campus in New York City

He also repeated his call from early this morning for Columbia University President Minouche Shafik, who he met with prior to the press conference, to resign.

“I’m here today joining my colleagues in calling on President Shafik to resign if she can not immediately bring order to this chaos,” Johnson said, eliciting more jeers. “As Speaker of the House, I have committed today that the Congress will not be silent as Jewish students are expected to run for their lives and stay home from their classes hiding in fear.”

At points he addressed the protesters directly, calling their activity un-American and accusing them of censorship as students continued shouting in the crowd.

“The college campus used to be the place for respectful debate, for the differences of opinion in the free marketplace of ideas to be discussed. That is not what is happening here,” Johnson said. “You are intimidating and shouting down people you disagree with.”

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The jeers grew louder while Johnson pressed on, “You cannot censor and silence viewpoints you disagree with. That is not American, but you do not understand what it means to respect the First Amendment.”

“My message to the students inside the encampment is it go back to class and stop the nonsense,” he said. “If we want to have a debate on campus about the merits of there things, let’s do that. But you can’t intimidate your fellow students and make them stay home from class. Think about that. Is that right? Do you think that’s right?”

Fox News Digital reached out to the White House about Johnson’s comments regarding the National Guard.

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