Home Europe Tensions grow as Pro-Palestinian protesters remain in standoff with police at UCLA

Tensions grow as Pro-Palestinian protesters remain in standoff with police at UCLA

by editor

Riot police took to the UCLA campus ordering a large gathering of pro-Palestinian demonstrators within a fortified encampment to withdraw or face arrest.


Riot police attempted to forcefully break up a pro-Palestinian protest on the University of California campus in Los Angeles following threats of arrests, just one night after violence was sparked by counter-protesters on site, leaving at least 15 protesters injured.

On Wednesday afternoon, hundreds of officers in riot gear formed lines near the barricaded encampment, resembling a small tent city on the campus, where more than a thousand people are said to have gathered. At dusk, some demonstrators prayed, while others voiced their determination to remain in place.

An assembly of students, alumni, and local residents congregated on the campus steps next to the pop-up camp, offering their support to various speakers while singing pro-Palestinian chants. 

Shortly before 2 am local time, police briefly made their way into the perimeter of the encampment only to retreat after being outnumbered by scores of protesters who yelled “Shame on you!” Some in the crowd tossed water bottles and other objects as dozens of officers ran back.

Later the crowd chanted “we’re not leaving. You don’t scare us.”

Protesters used protective gear such as helmets and headscarves. They reportedly discussed strategies for managing potential confrontations with law enforcement, including distributing goggles and surgical masks. 

Amidst these preparations, those gathered rallied efforts to make homemade shields out of plywood in anticipation of potential clashes with the police. 

Close by, a smaller group of students, displaying signs and giving out T-shirts expressing solidarity with Israel and the Jewish community, conducted their own counter-demonstration.

Law enforcement intervention, enacted amid hours of unrest, was criticised by various political figures, Muslim student bodies, and advocacy organisations. 

In the aftermath, community members voiced their support for the pro-Palestinian cause, emphasising the need for solidarity and action. 

Police have deemed the pro-Palestinian encampment on campus an unlawful assembly, according to domestic press.

The incident at UCLA coincided with similar confrontations unfolding nationwide, including police interventions at other universities and the dispersal of protest encampments, underscoring the contentious nature of the discourse surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on college campuses.

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