Police Move In, Begin Dismantling UCLA Protestors’ Encampment Barricades

(BrightPress.org) – Police forcefully dismantled an anti-Israel protest encampment on the UCLA campus on Thursday, May 2nd after protests became violent.

Pro-Palestenian activists have been protesting on college campuses across the United States for weeks in protest of the Israel-Hamas war. According to UCLA Chancellor Gene Block, the demonstrations had been non-violent until Pro-Israel demonstrators attacked the encampment Tuesday night. Fifteen people were injured during the attack. By Wednesday afternoon, the encampment had been rebuilt and reinforced. Hundreds of people gathered inside the area fortified with barriers made of plywood, metal fences, trash dumpsters, and pallets, were chanting while wearing goggles, gas masks, helmets, and surgical masks.

Protesters could be heard discussing how to handle pepper spray and were passing out plywood shields to protect themselves from rubber bullets. A large crowd gathered as night approached. Police moved in on Thursday morning. Officers dismantled the encampment. Flashbangs were used to aid police by disorienting those refusing to disperse. Police clashed with demonstrators for several hours. More than 200 people were arrested, most of them charged with refusing to disperse which is a misdemeanor.

California Governor Gavin Newson expressed concern over the delay in involving the police. Block promised a review of the incident. Michael Drake, the head of the University of California system demanded an “independent review of the university’s planning, its actions and the response by law enforcement.”

Similar police action recently occurred on the Columbia University campus in New York. The NYPD successfully cleared activists from Hamilton Hall after they had invaded and occupied the building in protest of Israel’s actions in the war. Officers entered the building through a second-story window and used flash-bang devices to help clear the building. Around 100 people were arrested.

One officer accidentally fired his weapon inside the building. He was attempting to use the flashlight attached to his gun when he accidentally fired the gun instead. No students were in the immediate area and there were no injuries. The NY district attorney’s office is conducting a review.

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