Police remove barricades at a pro-Palestinian demonstration

The Associated Press

Police removed barricades and began dismantling demonstrators’ fortified encampment at UCLA after hundreds of protesters defied orders to leave, some of them forming human chains as police fired flash-bangs to break up the crowds.
A crowd of more than 1,000 had gathered on campus, both inside a barricaded tent encampment and outside it, in support.
Protesters chanted, “Where were you last night?” at the officers, in reference to Tuesday night, when counterprotesters attacked the encampment and the UCLA administration and campus police took hours to respond.
AP AUDIO: Police make arrests at UCLA in tense clashes with Israel-Hamas war protesters.
Is this what you call keeping campus safe?” In Oregon, police have started working to clear pro-Palestinian rights demonstrators out of a library at Portland State University.
Outside the encampment, a crowd of students, alumni and neighbors gathered on campus steps, joining in pro-Palestinian chants.
Ray Wiliani, who lives nearby, said he came to UCLA on Wednesday evening to support the pro-Palestinian demonstrators.
In New York, those included the City College of New York, Fordham University, Stony Brook University and the University of Buffalo.


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Pro-Palestinian demonstrators were arrested by police overnight on college campuses across the nation. This was especially the case at the University of California, Los Angeles, where officers in riot gear charged at a crowd of protestors, causing chaotic scenes that broke out early on Thursday.

After hundreds of demonstrators refused to leave and formed human chains while police used flash-bangs to disperse the crowds, police removed barricades and started dismantling the demonstrators’ fortified encampment at UCLA.

Many demonstrators were taken into custody and had their hands restrained with zip ties. Some people were seen sitting on the sidewalk with their hands behind their backs while buses and police cars passed by in the morning’s video.

Officers had been threatening to make arrests over the loudspeakers for hours if people did not leave, before taking action. More than a thousand people had turned out to show support on campus, both outside and inside a tent encampment that was guarded. While officers ran into opposition, protesters and police pushed and scuffled. Film showed protesters being taken into custody with their helmets and goggles removed by police.

The sound of flash-bangs, which stun and disorient people with a bright light and loud noise, pierced the air as police helicopters hovered overhead. In reference to Tuesday night, when counterprotesters attacked the encampment and it took hours for the UCLA administration and campus police to respond, protestors chanted, “Where were you last night?” at the officers.

A student movement unlike any other this century has spread across campuses across the country, with tent encampments of protesters demanding that universities cease doing business with Israel or companies they claim support the war in Gaza. The police crackdowns that followed had similarities to actions taken against a larger anti-Vietnam War protest movement decades earlier.

AP Audio: Amid heated altercations with proponents of the Israel-Hamas war at UCLA, police make arrests.

According to AP correspondent Jennifer King, arrests and protests at U. S. university campuses.

Yale University police arrested four people Wednesday night after around 200 demonstrators marched to the school president’s home and to the campus police department, school officials said.

According to a statement released by school administrators on Thursday, protesters disregarded numerous warnings that their unauthorised occupation of campus areas was against policy. Yale reported that two of those detained were students.

Campus police allegedly used violence during the arrests and failed to provide warnings in advance, according to the protest organization Occupy Yale. The group shared a video of officers pinning someone to a sidewalk and throwing one person to the ground on Instagram.

Occupy Yale called the demonstration “peaceful.”. Policemen violently attacked, grabbed, and shoved people. Is this how you refer to maintaining campus security?

Police in Oregon have begun attempting to remove protestors in favor of Palestinian rights from a Portland State University library. Since Monday, the Millar Library has been under protest.

They created barricades by stacking or toppling furniture and spray-painting graffiti on interior walls. In a statement released late on Wednesday, university president Ann Cudd stated that classes would resume on Thursday. However, on social media early on Thursday morning, Portland State announced that due to police activity, the campus would be closed.

After administrators pledged not to pursue criminal charges, expulsion, or other forms of discipline against participants who left peacefully, Cudd said on Wednesday that roughly fifty protestors had left the Millar Library. However, some participants, including non-students, remained. Additionally, 15 police cars were damaged by arson overnight, according to Portland police on Thursday. It was unclear at first whether this incident was connected to the protest.

It seemed that the UCLA protests were receiving the most media coverage. The pan-Arab Al Jazeera satellite network from Qatar and Iranian state television both aired live footage of the police activity. Israeli television networks also aired live footage of Los Angeles.

California Highway Patrol officers poured into the campus by the hundreds early Thursday. Wearing face shields and protective vests, they stood with their batons protruding out to separate them from demonstrators, who wore helmets and gas masks and chanted, “You want peace. We demand justice. “.

Police methodically ripped apart the encampment’s barricade of plywood, pallets, metal fences and trash dumpsters and made an opening toward dozens of tents of demonstrators. Additionally, officers started to take down tents and canopies. With some leaving voluntarily with their hands raised and others being detained by the police, the number of protestors seemed to be decreasing throughout the morning.

The pro-Palestinian encampment was attacked by counterdemonstrators on Tuesday night, who threw traffic cones, released pepper spray, and tore down barriers. In contrast, there was a noticeable presence of law enforcement and ongoing warnings. Before the police intervened, the fighting went on for several hours, though no one was taken into custody. Political figures, Muslim students, and advocacy groups all criticized the government’s apathetic response to the protests, which resulted in at least 15 protesters being hurt.

Inside the reenforced encampment by Wednesday afternoon, a small city with hundreds of people and tents on the quad emerged. While state and campus police looked on, protesters reconstructed the temporary barriers surrounding their tents.

While some protestors chanted “we’re not leaving” or distributed surgical masks and goggles, others offered Muslim prayers as the sun sank over the campus. They talked about how to use tear gas or pepper spray while donning helmets and headscarves and listening to a megaphone song.

A group of neighbors, students, and alumni gathered on the campus steps outside the encampment and began chanting in support of the Palestinian people. Nearby, a group of students protested while brandishing T-shirts and signs endorsing Israel and the Jewish people.

The more cops that arrived on campus throughout the evening, the larger the crowd got.

A local resident named Ray Wiliani said he attended UCLA on Wednesday night in order to show his support for the pro-Palestinian protestors.

He remarked, “We have to stand up for it.”. “We’ve had enough. “.

Gene Block, the chancellor of UCLA, pledged to review the events of Tuesday night after California Gov. Gavin Newsom criticized the law enforcement response for being too slow. Michael Drake, the Chancellor of the University of California system, mandated an “independent review of the university’s planning, its actions, and the response by law enforcement.”. “.

Chief of staff for the Muslim Public Affairs Council Rebecca Husaini stated at a press conference on Wednesday, “The community needs to feel the police are protecting them, not enabling others to harm them.”.

In the meantime, police elsewhere dismantled protest camps, leading to arrests, or closed schools nationwide of their own volition. s. These included the University of Buffalo, Fordham University, Stony Brook University, and the City College of New York in New York. The University of New Hampshire in Durham, Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Portland State University in Oregon, and Tulane University in New Orleans were among the other universities across the country.

Police broke up a demonstration that had paralyzed Columbia University on Tuesday night by barging into a building that was occupied by anti-war demonstrators.

A brawl started early on Wednesday at the University of Wisconsin in Madison when shield-wielding police pushed protesters and took down all but one tent. There were four broken officers. Authorities accused four persons of assaulting them.

Rarely, agreements were reached between protest organizers and university representatives to limit the disruption of events such as commencement. Administrators decided to take a vote on divesting from Israel in October at Brown University in Rhode Island, reportedly the first U.S. s. college to consent to this kind of request.

Protesting Israel’s offensive in Gaza after Hamas launched a deadly attack on southern Israel on October 17, the countrywide campus demonstrations got underway at Columbia University on April 17. 7. Roughly 250 people were held captive and 1,200 people killed by militants, the majority of whom were civilians. Israel has massacred over 34,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip since it declared its intention to destroy Hamas, according to the Health Ministry there.

The university protests have been labeled as antisemitic by Israel and its allies, while critics of Israel claim that the country exploits these accusations to intimidate opponents. The protestors, some of whom are Jewish, claim that their movement is nonviolent and aims to oppose the war and defend Palestinian rights, despite the fact that some of them have been seen on camera making violent threats or antisemitic remarks.


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