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UCLA Gaza Solidarity Encampment Dismantled After Night of Counter Protesters’ Violence

LAPD and Other Agencies Sent in For “Student Safety”, Students Arrested 

The UCLA Gaza Solidarity Encampment was removed during the early morning hours of May 2. Students were told by Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Darnell Hunt during an afternoon press conference on May 1 that the decision had been made to disperse the camp using the Los Angeles Police Department because of the violence of the previous night when the students were attacked by violent counter-protesters. 

Hunt stated that this decision was made for the safety of the students. Some students who were questioning Hunt during a question-and-answer session said that it was too little, too late after the UC Police did nothing to stop the counterprotesters’ rampage, and the feeling was that the action punished the students, not the counterprotesters. 

Around six p.m., the college announced that the encampment had been declared unlawful and that anyone who did not disperse would be subject to arrest and/or disciplinary action. 

What everyone was not expecting, as many observers feared that the night would bring the return of the counter protesters, was that thousands of students and other concerned citizens would show up to support the encampment and protect the students. This reporter did see a few of the counter protesters from the previous night in disguise, one of whom kicked me, and a small group that found me later and attempted to make accusations against me but seemed to leave soon after. Most were masked, and a couple had kaffiyehs on. 

Police presence held back until around 3:30 a.m. when the Los Angeles Police Department and California Highway Patrol started to move in. The students set up blockades of students at Janss/Tongva Steps and the front entrance of the Royce Quad, but the police began to dismantle the barricades and take down tents while arresting the protesters. Students chanted, “We protect us” and “Shame on you.” According to ABC News, this morning, about 132 people were arrested. The students who were arrested did not seem to resist arrest once the police breached the encampment grounds.

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