There are pro-Palestinian demonstrators at USC

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LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Pro-Palestinian protesters returned to the USC campus Saturday to once again denounce the Israel-Hamas war, and things got heated through the night.
Though Saturday’s protest was mostly calmer and quieter, there was still that same frustration, some of it targeted at USC itself.
“They rekindled it,” said Elias Gerald, a USC student about Saturday’s protest.
All of the demonstrators at Saturday’s protest were affiliated with USC, students said.
“I think even if you want to protest at USC, you should be a USC student,” said freshman Kamal Mallandighal.
Later at night, around 11 p.m., video showed dozens of LAPD patrol vehicles moving onto the USC campus.
Saturday’s protest comes days after USC decided to cancel the commencement speech by valedictorian Asna Tabassum.
A peaceful rally to support Jewish UCLA students is planned for Sunday, right next to the encampment at Royce Quad.


LOS ANGELES (KABC)—The situation grew tense throughout the evening when pro-Palestinian demonstrators returned to the USC campus on Saturday to voice their opposition to the Israel-Hamas conflict once more.

The protest that had ended abruptly on Wednesday when police were called to evict demonstrators was reignited in the afternoon at Alumni Park by hundreds of students. On that day, over ninety people were taken into custody.

Even though Saturday’s demonstration was largely more subdued, there was still a certain amount of resentment, some of which was directed at USC. On the base of the Tommy Trojan statue, someone even sprayed the words “Say no to genocide.”.

About the protest on Saturday, USC student Elias Gerald said, “They rekindled it.”. “Students banded together to erect signs, tents, and vibrant messages. “.

“The customary chants and demonstrations demanding Palestine’s freedom are present, and the student organizers are happy and peaceful. To ensure that everyone is secure and safe, the encampment has rules, according to Melanie, a USC alumna.

The only people allowed on campus were faculty and staff, and the few open doors needed identification checks. Before allowing a car inside, it was thoroughly inspected.

According to students, every protestor on Saturday was connected to USC.

Kamal Mallandighal, a freshman, said, “I think even if you want to protest at USC, you should be a USC student.”. “I didn’t think much of the other strange adults from the L. A. area entering the campus. ****.

At some point after 11 p.m. m. dozens of LAPD patrol cars were seen entering the USC campus on camera. Earlier in the day, there had been a tactical alert in the area by the police, but it was eventually cancelled. Eyewitness News saw at least one person being taken into custody, though it’s unclear if any arrests were made.

Late on Saturday, Joel Curran, Senior Vice President of Communications at USC, released the statement below.

A group of people who have been camping illegally on our campus have vandalized campus property earlier on Saturday, including a fountain in Alumni Park and the Tommy Trojan statue. This group has also persisted in harassing students and others, disrupting campus activities, in defiance of multiple university policies, despite repeated warnings. Even though the university is a strong supporter of free speech, harassment and vandalism of this nature are intolerable and will not be allowed. Despite President Carol Folt’s repeated efforts, the students have turned down her invitations to meet. Before we are compelled to take additional action, we are hoping that Sunday will bring a more reasonable response. This space is required for this week’s early commencement setup. “.

The demonstration on Saturday takes place a few days after USC decided to postpone Asna Tabassum’s commencement speech. After she shared what some considered to be antisemitic internet posts made by Palestinian organizations, she faced backlash. USC announced that it had postponed her speech due to security and safety issues.

The school then opted to cancel the main commencement ceremony entirely on Thursday, the day after the protest, and released all of its honorees and outside speakers from attending.

Melanie said, “It doesn’t feel like the university is supporting its students’ freedom of speech.”. “I believe that the valedictorian demonstrated this, and I believe the protests are demonstrating it as well. ****.

Some students believe that everything has gone too far because of the police presence and the locked gates.

As a result of the campus closure and our inability to access certain locations, there is a certain amount of frustration among us, a student stated. “Considering that the protest was planned to be peaceful, I believe that many students are dissatisfied with their response. “.”.

Similar demonstration at UCLA.

The Pro-Palestinian encampment in Westwood, across town, has generated less controversy.

Angel Corona, a senior at UCLA, said, “It’s been really peaceful so far; it hasn’t really interfered with me or my classes, which is really important.”.

It has also been quieter, though that might not last for long.

On Sunday, next to the Royce Quad encampment, there will be a nonviolent demonstration in support of Jewish UCLA students.

GoFundMe pages for a counter-protest at UCLA have already raised an astounding $57,000, with promises of a “huge screen and big loud speakers” that will play endless clips and interviews from October. The date of the war’s outbreak, July 7, 2023, was marked by an attack on Israel by Hamas.

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