Violent Clash Breaks Out Between Pro-Palestinian Activists and Counter-Demonstrators on UCLA Campus

At around 2 a.m. local time, the LAPD announced its officers had arrived to assist campus police in dealing with the fighting.

Clashes broke out between pro-Palestinian activists and counter-activists at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) campus late on Tuesday night and continued into the early morning hours on Wednesday.

The official UCLA student newspaper, Daily Bruin, reported the clash began around 10:50 p.m. on Tuesday night as around 100 pro-Israel activists attempted to storm an ongoing Palestinian solidarity encampment on campus.
The Tuesday night clashes came after a previous round of clashes on the campus between pro-Palestinian activists and counter-activists the night prior.
“Many of the demonstrators, as well as counter-demonstrators who have come to the area, have been peaceful in their activism,” UCLA Chancellor Gene Block said in a statement following the Monday clashes. “But the tactics of others have frankly been shocking and shameful. We have seen instances of violence completely at odds with our values as an institution dedicated to respect and mutual understanding. In other cases, students on their way to class have been physically blocked from accessing parts of the campus.”

In his Tuesday statement, Mr. Block reiterated that the pro-Palestinian encampment was not authorized. He said barriers that demonstrators used to block access to buildings had been removed and UCLA has “significantly increased” the security presence near the encampment, located on the Dickson Plaza outside the Royce Hall building.

KABC, a local ABC affiliate, broadcast both aerial and ground-level footage showing people wielding sticks and poles descending on the pro-Palestinian encampment, while the pro-Palestinian activists held up plywood sheets, umbrellas, placards, and other objects to form a makeshift barricade around their encampment.

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Los Angeles Times education reporter Teresa Watanabe also shared footage appearing to show a confrontation between a lone individual outside the pro-Palestinian barricade line and the counter-activists attempting to storm the encampment.

The Daily Bruin reported that activists on both sides of the clash dispersed chemical irritants.

Security Response to UCLA Clash

UCLA Police Department Chief John Thomas told Daily Bruin that two University of California Police Department (UCPD) cars and one UCLA EMT initially arrived at the scene of the campus brawl at 11:13 p.m., around 20 minutes after the fighting began. Mr. Thomas told the student newspaper that the first responders left by 11:21 p.m. after they came under attack while trying to assist an individual.

The UCLA police chief said only five or six campus police officers were on duty when the fighting began.

UCLA Vice Chancellor for Communications Mary Osako reportedly emailed Daily Bruin at around 12:40 a.m.—nearly two hours into the clash—with a statement condemning the violence.

“Horrific acts of violence occurred at the encampment tonight,” Ms. Osako’s statement read. “The fire department and medical personnel are on the scene. We are sickened by this senseless violence and it must end.”

At around 2 a.m. local time, the LAPD announced its officers had arrived to assist campus police in dealing with the fighting.

NTD News contacted LAPD’s press office for more details about its response timeline, but a press officer declined to provide additional details.

An opinion article published by the Daily Bruin editorial board on Wednesday morning stated that LAPD officers arrived on campus sometime after 1 a.m., more than three hours into the fighting.

“At around 5 p.m. yesterday, Chancellor Gene Block sent an email to the UCLA student body claiming that security presence in the area had been increased,” the Daily Bruin’s editorial team wrote. “That was not visible in the midst of escalating violence. And even with the security present, there was no mediation far into the night.”

NTD News also contacted the UCLA administration for more details about its responses to the Tuesday night protests but university representatives did not respond by press time.

Campus Protests, Clashes Continue Nationwide

The pro-Palestinian activist encampment is one of several that have popped up on college campuses across the United States, amid ongoing Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli military operations in Gaza began after Hamas terrorists breached the Gaza–Israel barrier on Oct. 7, 2023, and proceeded to carry out attacks across southern Israel. Around 1,200 Israelis were killed and thousands more were injured in the course of the attacks. About 240 Israelis were taken hostage, about half of whom remain in Gaza.

The Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry has reported at least 34,568 people have been killed in the Palestinian territory in the nearly seven months since the fighting began. The Gaza Health Ministry does not distinguish between combatants and non-combatants in its casualty assessments, and the numbers cannot be independently verified.

Several pro-Palestinian activist movements across U.S. college campuses have called for their respective colleges to part from financial and business ties with Israeli entities.

Activists who took over the Hamilton Hall on the Columbia University campus in New York earlier this week listed the school’s divestment from Israel as one of their core demands.

The administration at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, has agreed to consider demands from pro-Palestinian protesters to divest from Israel as part of a deal to address protest events on its campus.
Portland State University (PSU) President Ann Cudd announced this week that PSU has agreed to “pause” its relationship with Boeing, in which the U.S. aerospace and defense technology firm had routinely made philanthropic gifts to the university. Pro-Palestinian campus activists had challenged the relationship between Boeing and PSU and called on the university to stop accepting money from the company.

Complaints have emerged of harassment and assaults targeting Jewish and Israeli students and faculty amid the campus protests.

Late on Tuesday, New York City police arrested dozens of pro-Palestinian demonstrators holed up in the Columbia University campus building and removed a protest encampment that the Ivy League school had sought to dismantle for nearly two weeks. Columbia University officials had warned earlier on Tuesday day that those continuing their campus occupation event faced expulsion.

Reuters contributed to this article.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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