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1 May, 2024 10:46

WATCH another US university in chaos over Gaza protest

Clashes erupted at UCLA overnight after an encampment was declared “unlawful”
WATCH another US university in chaos over Gaza protest

Violent clashes broke out between pro-Palestine demonstrators and pro-Israeli protesters at the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) late on Tuesday.

According to multiple videos posted online and local media reports, a group of pro-Israeli activists attempted to dismantle the walls of a pro-Palestinian encampment on the grounds, where students have been protesting against the war in Gaza for the past week. Hours prior to the violence, UCLA had declared the camp “unlawful” and had urged activists to leave.

The standoff between those at the encampment and their opponents reportedly escalated just before 11pm local time, when the pro-Israel group started throwing stones and hurling lit fireworks into the camp.

Footage from the scene also shows violent brawls breaking out between opposing student demonstrators.

People posting on X (formerly Twitter) early on Wednesday complained that no police had arrived to contain the groups, despite the clashes having begun hours previously. 

The Los Angeles Police Department later said that it was aware of the situation at UCLA, and was on its way to the scene at the university’s request due to “multiple acts of violence.” There have been no reports of injuries or arrests so far.

The situation at UCLA is the latest escalation of the protest movement against Israel’s war in Gaza that has unfolded across US college campuses. Student activists are urging universities and the US government to cut ties with Israel and force it to end hostilities.

The protests have largely been peaceful, with students setting up protest camps at more than 40 colleges nationwide. However, some demonstrations have led to standoffs with law enforcement, with many arrested.

Earlier on Tuesday, a group of pro-Palestine protesters seized a building on Columbia University’s Manhattan campus in New York. It took police several hours to clear the occupants, and over 100 people were detained.