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25 Pro-Palestinian Protesters Arrested at UCLA as Police Clear New Encampment

25 Pro-Palestinian Protesters Arrested at UCLA as Police Clear New Encampment

UCLA students protest the Israel-Hamas conflict on April 25, 2024. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

City News Service
City News Service

6/11/2024

Updated: 6/11/2024

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Police fired pepper bullets at a crowd of around 50 between Bunche and Perloff halls at UCLA early June 11 and made about 25 arrests during a lengthy protest described by organizers as commemorating Palestinians killed in the Israel-Hamas war.
The UCLA chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine began a vigil at 2 p.m. Monday in Bruin Plaza, planning to read the names of the “Palestinians who have been martyred or buried under the rubble'' in the Israel-Hamas war, according to the organization.
The group created what it called “a facsimile of the [April] encampment” in order to hold a symbolic funeral on the stairs near Royce Quad. When asked to disperse, they moved the symbolic funeral to a new location, organizers said.
Following a funeral-procession-like march which included people carrying fake bloody bodies and body parts, the group began amassing in the Dickson Plaza area, the site of the earlier massive encampment that stayed in place for more than a week before it was dismantled May 2 by police in an operation that resulted in more than 200 arrests.
Protesters also dyed the water in a plaza fountain red.
University police and campus security officers were quick to respond to the area and used bicycles in an effort to prevent more protesters from entering the area.
About 10 counter protesters between Dodd Hall and Murphy Hall harassed protesters, at one point trying to surround a protester carrying a Palestinian flag.
At about 3:15 p.m., a group of about 100 people affiliated with Students for Justice in Palestine marched to the walkway at the top of the Janss Steps and set up an unauthorized and unlawful encampment with tents, canopies, wooden shields, and water-filled barriers, according to the UCLA Police Department (UCPD).
The group also restricted access to the general public in violation of university policy. University officials advised the group it was violating university policy and California law, but they refused to leave, police said.
The group’s conduct, which included the use of amplified sound, also disrupted nearby final exams. After UCPD issued multiple dispersal orders, the group began to leave the area, police said.
A UCPD officer told the Daily Bruin, the campus newspaper, that the gathering had already been declared an unlawful assembly by shortly after 4 p.m. The Los Angeles Police Department briefly declared a citywide tactical alert, enabling the agency to keep officers on duty beyond their normal shifts.
Shortly before 6 p.m., university police gave protesters 10 minutes to disperse, telling them they would face arrest if they did not leave the area. The protesters quickly complied. The group dismantled their tents and removed other materials from the plaza, and walked down the Janss Steps.
The group then marched to the Kerckhoff patio, where they set up an unauthorized and unlawful encampment with tents, canopies, and barricades with patio furniture, police said. The group again restricted access to the general public.
The group’s conduct, which included entering Moore Hall, also disrupted nearby final exams. After UCPD issued dispersal orders, the group began to leave the area.
The group then marched to the courtyard between Dodd Hall and the School of Law, where they set up another unauthorized and unlawful encampment, police said. The group also restricted access to the general public and disrupted nearby exams.
At around 8 p.m. about 25 members of the group were arrested on suspicion of willful disruption of university operations, police said. They were cited and issued 14-day stay-away orders from UCLA property.
At 8:38 p.m., a UCPD lieutenant declared the assembly unlawful and told all those assembled in the courtyard between Dodd Hall and the School of Law, or east or south of the area, to exit the area within 10 minutes, the Daily Bruin reported.
Hundreds of protesters stood in front of at least 50 UCPD, LAPD, Culver City Police Department and California Highway Patrol officers outside Dodd Hall around 8:45 p.m.. All officers were wearing riot gear, according to the Daily Bruin.
Protesters called for a medic around 8:45 p.m., saying someone had suffered a head injury, the Daily Bruin reported.
Around 100 protesters outside Dodd Hall around 10 p.m. Monday chanted, “We are the revolution,'‘ and ”No justice, no peace, no racist police,’' according to the Daily Bruin.
At 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, police fired pepper bullets at a crowd of around 50 between Bunche Hall and Perloff Hall, the Daily Bruin reported. Crowds then dispersed in response.
The group damaged the Shapiro fountain, spray-painted brick walkways, tampered with fire safety equipment, damaged patio furniture, stripped wire from electrical fixtures and vandalized vehicles, police said.
ABC 7 reported at least one officer was being treated for injuries. At least one protester was hospitalized “with police-inflicted rubber bullet wounds,'' according to Students for Justice in Palestine.
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