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Students for Justice in Palestine Establish Third Encampment on the UCLA Campus on June 10

UCLA Administration Calls in Four Police Groups Within Two Hours, Arrests 27

Pro-Palestinian protesters briefly established a third encampment on Tuesday, June 11, on the UCLA campus. A smaller version of the Palestine Solidarity Encampment was set up on the western side of Dickson Plaza, close to Janss Steps, commonly known as Tongva Steps, by students. The Tongva Tribe is the Indigenous people who originally lived on much of the land where Los Angeles sits today. 

The students dyed the waters of the Shapiro Fountain red after a march through campus carrying a coffin and bodies dyed red to represent the Palestinian dead. Members of the group read off the names of Palestinians who have died, and the group repeated the words, “They won’t die in vain.” and responded with the words, “They will be redeemed.” The protest, which began around 3:30 p.m., was peaceful yet mournful. 

By 5:00 p.m., UCPD bicycle police were lined up in front of the encampment, police vehicles from the Culver City Police Department and the California Highway Patrol were seen, and Administrative Vice Chancellor Michael Beck was observed meeting with a senior LAPD member.

The encampment was declared illegal around 4:00 p.m., and an official dispersal order was issued around 5:45 p.m. The students then moved to Kerckhoff Patio and finally to Shapiro Courtyard outside of Dodd Hall. LAPD officers, in riot gear with “less than lethal” weapons, along with CHP, CCPD, and UCPD, tore down the barricades the students set up at Shapiro Courtyard and arrested anywhere between 25 to 27 people. 

Around 8:30 p.m., the police issued a dispersal order and pushed the rest of the protesters out of the area. The protesters did not leave campus and stayed to chant that the arrestees should be set free. One disturbing moment was captured on video by Sean Beckner-Carmitchel, as a leader of the protesters who was using a megaphone was snatched away bodily from the crowd by police as she screamed in terror.  

In a post on Instagram, Students for Justice in Palestine stated, “They shot rubber bullets as well as tackled, stepped on, and choked students and faculty into detainment. We were forced to crawl our way out through bushes as cops brandished weapons at every single exit. They arrested dozens of students, zip-tied them, and held them captive in Dodd Hall for hours.”

Michael Chwe, a professor of political science, was quoted by The Daily Bruin as saying, “Peaceful protest is a very basic constitutional human right. The use of violence on a college campus is entirely antithetical to all of our values.”

Newly appointed associate vice chancellor for campus safety, Rick Braziel, issued a statement saying,”27 individuals were arrested. We are still determining which arrestees are not members of the UCLA community. Students who were arrested will be subject to disciplinary actions based on UCOP guidance, which could include a campus exclusion that will prevent them from being on campus to take finals or participate in commencement ceremonies.”

Students for Justice in Palestine’s statement continued and said, “Despite formerly placing blame on the police chief, campus safety protocols, and the chain of command on April 30th and May 1st, the university has finally abandoned their veil of neutrality…Just as UCLA brutalized the resistance to the Vietnam War and the resistance to apartheid in 1985, they actively suppress our justified rage over the daily massacres of Palestinians today. They respond to us with violence to absolve themselves of responsibility in this extermination of human life.

The university will never be on our side, just as they were not on the side of the students in ’69, ’70, or in ’85 – but we don’t need them to be. Just like those students, we will force our demands to be heard.

In 1968, the slogan was “Bring the war home.” In 1986, it was “Apartheid kills, UCLA pays the bills” In 2024, we declare that “If Gaza burns, UCLA must feel the heat.”

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