Police clash with pro-Palestinian protesters at UCLA

Police clashed with pro-Palestinian protesters at UCLA on Monday, arresting some, after a demonstration that unfolded around campus and included reciting the names of some of those who died in Gaza.

Protesters dyed the waters of the Shapiro Fountain red, aerial footage from local television stations showed. For several hours, the demonstration took place generally peacefully. The situation then became chaotic, with Los Angeles police and private security forming a skirmish line and confronting protesters who stood behind barricades.

A crowd formed on the other side of the skirmish line, with demonstrators chanting “Let them go!” »

Associate Professor Graeme Blair, a member of the Faculty of Justice in Palestine, said a student went to hospital for treatment for wounds caused by a rubber bullet, which he said was fired while the students were in the camp near Dodd Hall. He criticized authorities, saying students followed dispersal orders throughout the evening.

A UC police representative declined to answer questions about the arrests or whether “less than lethal” weapons were used.

Previously, police had ordered protesters to disperse at least twice, and the crowds quickly dismantled tents and barricades and moved to different locations on campus.

As the demonstrators marched, one of them read aloud the names of the Palestinians killed.

“They will not die in vain,” protesters chanted after each name. “They will be redeemed.”

Some demonstrators laid roses next to a coffin painted with the Palestinian flag alongside fake bloody corpses. A helicopter flew overhead.

Many protesters refused to give interviews, saying they were not “media liaisons” or “media trained.”

The event was organized by UCLA Students for Justice in Palestine. Several professors followed the crowd with a banner displaying their support for the students and the demonstration.

Monday’s event marked the third pro-Palestinian encampment at UCLA in recent weeks, the handling of which sparked outrage and questions about the university’s unpreparedness for such an event.

The first premiered on April 25, sparking mixed reactions and a largely peaceful counter-protest on April 28.

However, two days later, UCLA declared the encampment illegal and ordered campus members to leave or face disciplinary action.

Later that night, a violent mob attacked the camp. The few police officers on duty were quickly overwhelmed and the violence continued for three hours until the authorities finally managed to bring the situation under control.

At Monday’s demonstration, most demonstrators wore surgical masks, and those near the moving encampment held makeshift wooden shields or set up chicken wire to barricade themselves. The crowd moved from the courtyard outside Royce Hall to the bottom of the Tongva steps, into the courtyard behind Kerckhoff Hall, and then into a courtyard outside Dodd Hall.

Los Angeles police and private security formed a line when an unlawful assembly was declared at UCLA on Monday.

(Alene Tchekmedyian / Los Angeles Times)

As night fell, protesters set up their barricades in the courtyard of Dodd Hall. The confrontation intensified when an illegal assembly was declared. Police and guards formed a line, with protesters shouting, “Cops off campus! »

Los Angeles Police Captain. Kelly Muniz confirmed to the Times that arrests were made at the protest, but did not provide further details.

UCLA professor Yogita Goyal, who teaches English and African American studies, was among the professors on campus Monday to express support for the protesters. Goyal said police should not have declared an illegal assembly on Monday – or on April 30, when students were protesting peacefully.

“UCLA leaders should be present and allow our students to express their political views,” she said.

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