Police dismantle encampment at UCLA

Police moved in to remove barricades and began dismantling a fortified encampment early Thursday at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). This comes after law enforcement on the UCLA campus ordered the dispersal of over a thousand people who had gathered in support of a pro-Palestinian student encampment.

The protestors were warned over loudspeakers that anyone who refused to leave could face arrest. The school issued an alert shortly before 3 a.m. PT (6 a.m. ET) asking students to avoid the encampment area, saying police deemed it an unlawful assembly. There were clashes as officers stormed the encampment and some protesters people were detained, their hands bound with zip ties. Videos show protesters and police shoving and scuffling as officers encountered resistance as they tried to disperse the crowd.

There were violent scenes yesterday when members of the encampment say counter-protesters attacked them. With police helicopters hovering, the sound of flash bangs, which produce a bright light and a loud noise to disorient and stun people, pierced the air. Protesters chanted, “Where were you last night?” at the officers, in reference to Tuesday night, when counter-protesters attacked the encampment and the UCLA administration and campus police took hours to respond.

As daylight dawned on Los Angeles, the UCLA encampment had ended. The mini village of tents, gazebos and signs protesting against Israel’s war in Gaza, which had been protesters’ home for more than a week, was reduced to a pile of rubble and debris.  As protesters continued to be led away by police, their hands tied behind their backs, they continued to call for the college to divest from its financial interests in Israel.

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