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Pro-Palestine Encampment Established on UCLA Campus

Pro-Palestine Encampment Established on UCLA Campus

Pro-Palestinian students and activsts gather on the plaza in front of Royce Hall at the University of California Los Angeles on April 25, 2024. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

City News Service

City News Service

4/25/2024

Updated: 4/25/2024

LOS ANGELES—One day after nearly 100 people were arrested following pro-Palestine protests on the campus of USC, a similar protest began early April 25 on the Westwood campus of UCLA, with participants forming an encampment of tents outside Royce Hall.
Several dozen protesters were sitting and milling around inside the encampment, which was established around 4 a.m., according to reports from the scene. Organizers of the “Palestine Solidarity Encampment,” similar to their counterparts at USC, issued a list of demands that include divestment of all University of California and UCLA Foundation funds from companies tied to Israel, along with a university call for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war and an academic boycott by UC against Israeli universities, including a suspension of study-abroad programs.
“For 201 days, Israel has murdered, injured, starved, disappeared, displaced and kidnapped Palestinians with impunity,” according to a message posted online by organizers of the UCLA encampment, including the UC Divest Coalition at UCLA, Students for Justice in Palestine and Jewish Voice for Peace UCLA.
“For 201 days, the world has watched in silence as Israel has murdered over 30,000 Palestinians. today, UCLA joins students across the country in demanding that our universities divest from the companies which profit off of the occupation, apartheid and genocide in Palestine. Now, more than ever, we must rise in solidarity to demand that the world centers Palestine, that the genocide is immediately ended and that our university is no longer complicit in human rights violations.”
Participants erected a makeshift wooden fence alongside the encampment and displayed signs with slogans such as “UCLA Says Free Palestine,” “Blood on the UC Hands,” and “When people are occupied, resistance is justified.”
It was not immediately clear if all of the participants in the UCLA action were students.
“Our top priority is always the safety and wellbeing of our entire Bruin community,” Mary Osako, vice chancellor of UCLA Strategic Communications, said in a statement Thursday morning. “We’re actively monitoring this situation to support a peaceful campus environment that respects our community’s right to free expression while minimizing disruption to our teaching and learning mission.”
On Wednesday, hundreds of people took part in a pro-Palestine protest and attempted “occupation” of Alumni Park on the USC campus. That event ended with 93 arrests of people who refused to disperse from the area on the private campus.
The USC campus remains closed to the general public Thursday, but open to students, staff and faculty with proper identification.
Late Wednesday afternoon, the Jewish Federation Los Angeles issued a statement calling protests at USC and other college campuses across the nation “alarming.”
“Antisemitism, hate, and intolerance towards Jewish students has no place on any campus,” according to the federation. “JFEDLA is working to ensure the safety of every Jewish student across Los Angeles. While we believe in peaceful civic discourse, these protests have escalated to the point of creating a dangerous climate for Jews on campus.”
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