UCLA: Police dismantle student camp protesting Israel’s war in Gaza

UCLA: Police dismantle student camp protesting Israel’s war in Gaza
UCLA: Police dismantle student camp protesting Israel’s war in Gaza

Image source, Reuters

Caption, Los Angeles police arrested about 130 people in the operation to dismantle the anti-Gaza war camp at UCLA.
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Following in the footsteps of Columbia University in New York, the police arrived this Thursday morning at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) to dismantle the camp of students and professors who are demanding the center stop investing in companies and individuals. who allegedly profit from Israel’s war in the Gaza Strip.

It was an outcome for which the campers, who had occupied a central area of ​​the university since Thursday of last week, had been preparing for hours.

“We are willing to endure, to relive over and over again what we experienced last night until the occupation in Gaza ends,” one of the spokespersons had said during a press conference held on Wednesday.

“The whole world is watching, we are not going to leave, we are going to resist,” chanted those present.

The night before, some hooded and masked pro-Israel counterprotesters arrived at the site, threw objects at the pro-Palestinians and tried to tear down the fences of the security perimeter that surrounded the camp, in an episode of violence not seen until then on the campus.

The university, which had camp declared illegalcondemned the violence and called the police, who took hours to calm the clashes.

Image source, Reuters

Caption, The police raid at UCLA came a day after pro-Israel counterprotesters attacked students camped out to protest the war in Gaza, sparking clashes.

Hours later, hundreds of agents wearing bulletproof vests, helmets and face shields entered the campus from different fronts to carry out a raid and evict the campers, while they tried to keep the plywood structure and fences in place. surrounded, the agency describes the scene Reuters.

After a series of tense struggles, police managed to remove hundreds of protesters from Royce Hall. Some resisted leaving, but dozens of them left the place on their own and police sources told Los Angeles Times that They arrested around 130 people.

The student mobilization in the United States in solidarity with Gaza and against the military incursion into Israel has spread throughout more than 25 campuses spread across 21 states and those arrested number in the hundreds.

“Right to protest, not to chaos”

President Joe Biden spoke this Thursday from the White House about the protests that are shaking the country’s universities and said that both order and the rule of law, as well as freedom of expression, must be protected.

“Violent protest is not protected. Peaceful protest is… Vandalism, illegal entry into buildings, breaking windows, blocking the campus… none of that is a peaceful protest,” he stressed.

“There is the right to protest, but not the right to chaos,” he continued. “We are not an authoritarian nation, where we crush dissent, but we are a civil society with laws”.

When asked if the National Guard should intervene, the president responded: “No.”

Caption, Biden said the protests have not caused him to change his position and that his support for Israel remains unwavering.

At the moment it is the local police forces that are taking action on the matter: in Columbia early Tuesday morning, when a huge operation dismantled the student camp and evicted those who had barricaded themselves in a building, arresting 300, or this Thursday at UCLA.

“Whatever feelings one may have about the camp, this attack against our students, faculty and community members was absolutely unacceptable,” the president of the Californian university, Gene Block, said in a statement on Wednesday.

That same day it was learned that the congressional committee investigating acts of anti-Semitism would call Rector Block to testify.

On May 23, he will have to testify, along with representatives of other higher education institutions, about his center’s actions to stop possible prejudice and harassment of Jewish students.

For his part, Biden said in his press conference that The mobilizations have not changed their position towards Israelly that your support remains unwavering.

The incursion by Israeli forces into Gaza began in retaliation for the October 7 attack by Hamas militants that left 1,200 dead and took some 250 hostages, and has so far claimed the lives of more than 34,000 Palestinians, according to the Strip’s Health Ministry, managed by Hamas.

According to the United Nations, there are some 2 million civilians on the brink of famine.

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