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Police presence at UCLA ramps up again after protesters, counter-protesters clash over Israel-Hamas war



Police presence at UCLA ramps up again after protesters, counter-protesters clash over Israel-Hamas war

Mounting tensions on U.S. campuses boiled over on Wednesday when pro-Israel supporters attacked an encampment of pro-Palestinian and anti-war protesters at UCLA, simply hours after police arrested activists who occupied a constructing at Columbia College and flattened a tent metropolis on its campus.

Police deployed in power on the College of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) campus on Wednesday morning after Israel supporters attacked a camp arrange by pro-Palestinian protesters.

Witness footage from the scene, verified by Reuters, confirmed folks wielding sticks or poles to assault picket boards getting used as makeshift barricades to guard the pro-Palestinian protesters.

Police have been responding to UCLA chancellor Gene Block’s request for assist, mentioned Los Angeles deputy mayor of communications Zach Seidl on the social media platform X.

The Los Angeles Police Division additionally posted on X it was responding to UCLA’s request “as a result of a number of acts of violence throughout the giant encampment on their campus,” to revive order and preserve public security. By 5 a.m. that they had erected a metallic crowd barrier in entrance of the encampment and the realm was quiet. However on Wednesday evening, a heavy police presence was again as officers known as it a “illegal meeting.”

WATCH | Heavy police presence on UCLA campus: 

U.S. campuses see clashes, arrests as Canadian encampments develop

After arrests at New York’s Columbia College, Los Angeles police look like getting ready to maneuver in on protesters at UCLA. The variety of encampments in solidarity with the Palestinian trigger proceed to develop as college students camped at Montreal’s McGill College say they are not going wherever.

Footage from the early hours confirmed principally male counter-demonstrators, a lot of them masked and a few apparently older than college students, throwing objects and attempting to smash or pull down the picket and metal obstacles erected to protect the encampment.

Some yelled pro-Jewish feedback as pro-Palestinian protesters tried to combat them off.

“They have been developing right here and simply violently attacking us,” mentioned pro-Palestinian protester Kaia Shah, a researcher at UCLA.

“I simply did not assume they might ever get to this, escalate to this degree, the place our protest is met by counter-protesters who’re violently hurting us, inflicting ache on us, when we aren’t doing something to them.”

A woman lowers a handkerchief to receive water on her face from a bottle in a nighttime photo.
A professional-Palestinian protester receives water in her eyes of after being maced on the campus of UCLA. (Etienne Laurent/AFP/Getty Photos)

Demonstrators on each side sprayed one another with pepper spray and fights broke out.

One other pro-Palestinian scholar protester, Sophia Sandino, mentioned: “We had folks [spraying] us, beating us with bats and sticks, throwing no matter they might to us and none of this legislation enforcement was right here in any respect. So it is form of disappointing that we’re seen because the perpetrators right here.”

Katy Yaroslavsky, a Los Angeles metropolis council member whose district contains UCLA, posted on X: “Everybody has a proper to free speech and protest, however the state of affairs on UCLA’s campus is uncontrolled and is now not secure.”

Fifteen folks have been injured throughout the UCLA confrontation, together with one one that was hospitalized, in response to College of California system president Michael V. Drake. 

A man with a mask on his face lifts a metallic fence and appears ready to throw it.
A counter-protester throws a metallic fence at pro-Palestinian protesters subsequent to their encampment arrange on the campus at UCLA. (Etienne Laurent/AFP/Getty Photos)

UCLA is a part of the College of California system. It has about 32,000 undergraduate college students and is positioned within the residential neighborhood of Westwood simply exterior of Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles.

Final weekend, a whole bunch of counter-protesters had turned up there chanting assist for Israel, hoisting indicators and waving blue-and-white Israeli flags.

Supporters of Israel erected a display screen that performed a video loop of scenes from the Hamas Oct. 7 assault. The 2 sides taunted each other, pushed, shoved and threw punches whereas campus police struggled to include the skirmishes.

Arrests in Wisconsin comply with Columbia raid

On Wednesday morning, police have been eradicating an encampment of pro-Palestinian protesters on the College of Wisconsin’s Madison campus. Almost 60 cops, some with riot shields, arrived and started eradicating tents and different objects, WISC-TV reported.

A police officer with yells while hitting a protester with his shield amid clashes between police and other protesters.
Police push again on demonstrators protesting the battle in Gaza as they work to take away a non-sanctioned encampment on the campus of College of Wisconsin’s Madison campus on Wednesday. (John Hart/Wisconsin State Journal/The Related Press)

Video from WISC-TV confirmed police with riot shields pushing towards protesters and the protesters pushing again whereas chanting slogans, together with “Free Free Palestine.”

Greater than 30 folks have been arrested, most of them launched with out expenses, however 4 have been charged with battering legislation enforcement, police mentioned.

4 officers have been injured, together with a state trooper who was hit within the head with a skateboard, in response to College of Wisconsin police spokesperson Marc Lovicott. Inside hours, protesters had erected extra tents on the UW campus.

The station mentioned that at the very least 10 protesters have been taken away by police with their palms zip-tied by officers.

Three police officers wearing baseball caps carry a person wearing boots in an outdoor photo.
Police carry a demonstrator protesting the battle in Gaza on the College of Wisconsin-Madison on Wednesday. (John Hart/Wisconsin State Journal/The Related Press)

Protest encampments on campuses have been arrange with higher frequency this month in a number of states in the usin solidarity with college students at Columbia College in New York Metropolis. There have additionally been encampments arrange at some Canadian campuses.

Late on Tuesday, New York Metropolis police arrested dozens of pro-Palestinian and anti-war demonstrators holed up in a tutorial constructing on Columbia’s Manhattan campus and eliminated a protest encampment that the Ivy League college had sought to dismantle for practically two weeks.

New York Metropolis Mayor Eric Adams mentioned Wednesday that about 300 folks have been arrested.

“We’re processing the arrests to differentiate between who have been precise college students and who weren’t speculated to be on the bottom,” mentioned Adams.

Police officers in helmets are shown climbing a ladder to gain entry inside a stone building.
Utilizing a tactical automobile, New York Metropolis police enter an higher ground of Hamilton Corridor at Columbia College in New York Metropolis on Tuesday evening after the campus constructing was taken over by protesters earlier within the day. (Craig Ruttle/The Related Press)

White Home condemns violence, occupation

The clashes at UCLA, in New York and elsewhere are a part of the largest outpouring of U.S. scholar activism for the reason that anti-racism rallies and marches of 2020.

There have been confrontations with legislation enforcement and greater than 1,300 arrests. In uncommon situations, college officers and protest leaders struck agreements to limit the disruption to campus life and upcoming graduation ceremonies.

That is all taking part in out in an election 12 months within the U.S., elevating questions on whether or not younger voters — who’re important for Democrats — will again President Joe Biden’s re-election effort, given his staunch assist of Israel.

The White Home, whereas expressing assist for freedom of meeting, criticized “forcibly taking up buildings” in an announcement on Tuesday.

A line of police officers wearing helmets are shown standing on a university campus.
Regulation enforcement officers stand guard amid clashes close to an encampment on the UCLA campus within the Westwood neighbourhood of Los Angeles early Wednesday. (David Swanson/Reuters)

The U.S. protests have been duly famous in Israel, the place Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has known as the demonstration antisemitic and intimidating to Jewish college students.

Many Jewish college students are among the many organizers of the Columbia protest, although, and bristle at allegations of antisemitism. 

About 1,200 folks in southern Israel have been killed within the Oct. 7 assaults in Israel led by Hamas, thought of a terrorist group by many Western governments. The Israeli retaliatory assault has killed practically 35,000 Palestinians in Gaza, in response to well being ministry figures.

WATCH | Reside protection of the altercations on Wednesday morning: 

Supporters of Israel conflict with pro-Palestinian protesters at UCLA

Violence broke out on the College of California Los Angeles in a single day between pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli protesters. Police in riot gear arrived however didn’t instantly intervene.

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