UCLA: Police remove barricades from encampment of pro-Palestinian demonstrators

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Police arrested pro-Palestinian protesters overnight on college campuses across the country, most notably at the University of California, Los Angeles, where chaotic scenes erupted early Thursday as rioting officers turned on crowds of demonstrators.

Police dismantled and dismantled protesters’ shelters at UCLA after hundreds of protesters In defiance of orders to leave, Some formed a human chain as police fired flash-bangs to disperse the crowd.

At least 132 protesters were arrested, the California Highway Patrol said. Some sat on the pavement with their hands behind their backs and their hands tied with zip ties. Others were loaded onto Los Angeles County sheriff’s buses and taken to a downtown inmate processing center, spokeswoman Julia Dafoya said. It is not known how many people were arrested.

The move comes after hours of officers threatening arrests over loudspeakers if the crowd does not disperse. A crowd of more than 1,000 gathered on campus, including a restricted tent camp. Protesters and the police engaged in shoving and scuffling as the authorities faced resistance. Video shows police removing helmets and goggles from protesters as they are detained.

What do you need to know about student protests?

As police helicopters circled, the sound of flash-bangs – which produced a bright light and loud noise to disorient and stun – pierced the air. “Where were you last night?” protestors asked the officers. They chanted. Late Tuesday, counter-protesters stormed the campus and UCLA administration and campus police took hours to respond.

Tent camps Protesters calling universities Stop doing business with Israel Or companies claim support War in Gaza It has spread across campuses across the country like no other student movement this century. Police caning followed echoed the actions of decades earlier Against the largest protest movement against the Vietnam War.

AP reporter Jennifer King reports that protests and arrests continue on American college campuses.

Demonstrations – and arrests – have occurred in every corner of the country. At the University of Texas at Dallas, 17 people were arrested on criminal trespassing charges after protesters refused law enforcement orders to remove a camp from the school’s main hallway, a university spokeswoman said in a statement Thursday.

Yale University police arrested four people, including two students, after about 200 protesters marched on the school president’s home and the campus police station Wednesday night, school officials said. School officials said in a statement on Thursday that protesters ignored repeated warnings that they could not occupy parts of the campus without permission.

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The Yale Occupy Protest Group said campus police were violent and did not issue warnings during the arrests. The group posted a video on Instagram showing officers taking one to the ground and pinning another to the pavement.

“Peaceful protest,” said Yale Occupy. “Police officers grabbed, shoved and brutalized people. Is this what you call keeping campus safe?”

In Oregon, police began evicting pro-Palestinian rights demonstrators from Miller Library at Portland State University, which they had occupied since Monday.

They sprayed graffiti inside and knocked or piled furniture to create obstacles. Portland State said Thursday on social media that the campus will be closed due to the police operation.

University President Ann Cutt said Wednesday that about 50 protesters left the library after administrators assured them they would not seek criminal charges, expulsion or other disciplinary action if they left peacefully, but others — including non-students — remained. Portland police said Thursday that 15 police vehicles were set on fire overnight; It was not immediately clear if it was related to the protest.

University of Minnesota officials meanwhile reached an agreement with protesters to stop a camp on the Minneapolis campus. Interim President Jeff Ettinger said in an email to the campus community Thursday that nearby buildings would reopen at noon and that protesters had agreed not to disrupt final exams or commencement ceremonies. followed similar agreements in Northwestern University in suburban Chicago and Brown University in Rhode Island.

The protests at UCLA seemed to get the most attention. Iranian state television broadcast live footage of the police operation, as did Qatar’s pan-Arab Al Jazeera satellite network. Live footage from Los Angeles was also broadcast on Israeli television networks.

President Joe Biden on Thursday Protected the rights of students For peaceful protest but condemned the destruction and disturbances of recent days.

Israel has branded the protests Anti-Semitism, Israel’s critics say the charges are being used to silence the opposition. While some protesters have been caught on camera making anti-Semitic remarks or threatening violence, protest organizers — some of them Jewish — call it a peaceful movement to defend Palestinian rights and oppose the war.

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Hundreds of California Highway Patrol officers converged on the UCLA campus early Thursday morning. Clad in face shields and protective vests, wearing helmets and gas masks, they held out sticks to separate them from demonstrators who chanted, “You want peace.” We want justice,” he said.

Police systematically tore down the camp’s barricades of plywood, boards, metal fences and trash cans, then removed dozens of canopies and tents. By morning, the number of protesters had dwindled, some voluntarily raised their hands and left, while others were arrested by the police.

A law enforcement presence and constant warnings were in contrast to the scene Tuesday night when pro-Palestinians stormed the camp, throwing traffic cones, releasing pepper spray and tearing down barricades. Clashes between the two sides continued for several hours before the police intervened. No arrests were made, but at least 15 protesters were injured. The authorities’ brazen response drew criticism from political leaders, Muslim students and advocacy groups.

By Wednesday afternoon, a small town had formed inside the fortified camp, with hundreds of people and tents. Demonstrators rebuilt makeshift barricades around their tents while state and campus police looked on.

Some protesters recited Muslim prayers as the sun set, while others chanted “We’re not leaving” or passed around wearing goggles and surgical masks. They wore helmets and visors and discussed the best ways to handle pepper spray or tear gas while someone sang into a megaphone.

Outside the camp, a crowd of students, alumni and neighbors gathered on the campus steps, chanting pro-Palestinian chants. A group of students demonstrated nearby wearing T-shirts and carrying signs in support of Israel and the Jewish people.

The crowd increased as the night progressed as more officers poured into the premises.

Ray Viliani, who lives nearby, said he came to UCLA Wednesday evening to support the pro-Palestinian demonstrators.

“We have to take a stand on that,” he said. “Enough is enough.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday condemned the delayed law enforcement response and UCLA Chancellor Gene Black promised an investigation. Michael Drake, president of the University of California system, ordered an “independent review of the university’s planning, its actions and law enforcement’s response.”

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Rebecca Hussaini, head of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, said during a news conference on Wednesday, “The community needs to feel that the police are protecting them and that others cannot harm them.

Meanwhile, police dismantled protest camps at schools across the US, resulting in arrests or voluntary closures. In New York, they include the City College of New York, Fordham University, Stony Brook University, and the University at Buffalo. Others around the country include the University of New Hampshire in Durham, Northern Arizona University in Kodiak, and Tulane University in New Orleans.

Tuesday night, police said A building exploded Columbia University was occupied by anti-war protesters, breaking up a demonstration that paralyzed the school.

Columbia’s chapter of the American Association of University Professors condemned the school’s leadership on Thursday. The chapter said the “brutal police attack on our students” was now “shameful for the whole world to see”.

A scrum broke out early Wednesday morning at the University of Wisconsin in Madison after police removed all but one tent with shields and chased away protesters. Four officers were injured. Four people were charged with assaulting law enforcement.

Nationwide campus protests began in Colombia on April 17 against Israel’s attack on Gaza, followed by a deadly attack by Hamas on southern Israel on October 7. Militants killed about 1,200 people, most of them civilians, and took about 250 hostages. Israel, which has vowed to eradicate Hamas, has killed more than 34,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, according to the country’s health ministry.

US college campuses have become a flashpoint, with school leaders facing intense scrutiny over their handling of allegations of anti-Semitism and free speech. Presidents of Harvard And this University of Pennsylvania He subsequently resigned Questions in Congress About whether on-campus calls for Jewish genocide violate the school’s conduct policy.

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Offenhartz and Frederick reported from New York. Julie Watson, Krista Fauria, John Antsak, Christopher L. Keller, Lisa Baumann, Stephanie Tasio, Jay C. Associated Press journalists from around the country contributed to this report, including Hong, Colin Long, Karen Matthews, Sarah Brumfield, Carolyn Thompson, Phillipson, Phillipson. Marcelo and Eugene Johnson.

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