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UCLA Student Council Demands Chancellor’s Resignation Over Handling of Violence Against Palestinian Solidarity Encampment

Resolution Urges Immediate Action on Divestment, Amnesty, and Medical Bill Waivers

UCLA’s Undergraduate Students Association Council, which is the governing body of the Undergraduate Students Association (USA) whose membership is comprised of every UCLA undergraduate student voted on a “Resolution Calling for the Immediate Resignation of Chancellor Gene Block if He Does Not Meet PSE Divestment Demands, Grant Amnesty to Affected Students, and Waive Medical Bills of Those Hospitalized.”

In a 10 to 3 vote, the resolution was passed. The full resolution can be read here

The resolution points out the violence committed against the students and academic workers, whose union has already called a strike authorization in response to UCLA’s actions. The resolution demands amnesty and justice for all those arrested, and that no disciplinary measures be taken against all those involved in the encampment and that the victims of violence must be compensated for their medical bills or have those bills waived. 

It states that students must not face academic repercussions and workers must not face retaliation from their employers and UCLA must agree to the five stated demands of the Students for Justice in Palestine, University of California Los Angeles. If not, the resolution calls for the immediate resignation of Chancellor Gene Block and has asked the Academic Senate for a vote of no confidence for the Chancellor and the current administration. 

Another observation is that while over two hundred students and academic staff were arrested the next evening after the vigilante attack, not a single member of the mob that attacked the Palestinian Solidarity Encampment and its residents was brought to justice a week later.  Over 100 students and faculty were injured in various assaults, and 25 were hospitalized with broken bones, concussions, burns, and other injuries. 

Alicia Verdugo, Cultural Affairs commissioner, sponsored the resolution which states, “Whereas, for years, Gene Block’s administration has constructed false narratives designed to place blame on non-violent demonstrators. Despite his efforts to frame the violence as indiscriminate, the UCLA community is acutely aware of the facts surrounding Tuesday and  Wednesday night, and now Monday morning, and students and community of the Palestine Solidarity Encampment were brutalized by a pro-Israel mob for five hours straight while Gene Block observed from a building. 

Over one hundred UCLA students and faculty were maced, bear sprayed, and physically assaulted. Zionist aggressors shot fireworks directly into the encampment. Twenty-five were hospitalized. Members of the encampment were burned, beaten, and traumatized as a result of his administration’s negligence and apathy, and Gene Block’s administration is directly responsible for enabling Tuesday night’s tragedy. 

How dare he and his administration blame the encampment for the violence they endured as a result of his negligence, and within 24 hours, Chancellor Gene Block used this attack as justification for a violent police sweep. Block claims that calling law enforcement to clear the encampment was the only way to protect our community following the attacks on Tuesday night. This is a blatant assault on truth. 

Block forced students to fight for their lives for two days straight. While students were armed with nothing but a human chain, PPE, and shields they forcefully took to make more defenseless, police arrived in full riot gear and proceeded to shoot rubber bullets and flash bangs into the crowd of demonstrators. Students and faculty were tackled, thrown to the ground, and zip-tied; 210 protesters were arrested. Many were held all day without food or water, and police reported that UCLA administration had specifically asked them to hold and book students rather than citing and releasing them, and

The UCLA community was twice besieged, first by pro-Israel white supremacists who acted with complete impunity, then by the police themselves — the same police who did nothing to protect our community just one night prior, and Gene Block’s refusal to acknowledge that the members of Palestine Solidarity Encampment were the victims of violence, not the perpetrators, is a direct reflection of the state repression imposed upon Palestinians by the US-funded Israeli government. 

It is telling that 210 nonviolent pro-Palestine protesters were arrested while the Zionist perpetrators of Tuesday night’s attacks have faced no consequences for the harm they caused and continue to cause, terrorizing students and community members on campus.”

in News
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