LAPD Clears Pro-Palestinian Encampment at UCLA; More Than 200 Arrested

Chase Smith
By Chase Smith
May 2, 2024California
UCLA undergoes a major cleanup following law enforcement intervening and dismantling the pro-Palestinian encampment Thursday morning, resulting in hundreds of arrests.

Just before daybreak, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and other law enforcement agencies had encircled defiant protesters at the University of California’s Los Angeles (UCLA) campus after declaring the pro-Palestinian encampment on the campus illegal.

Some of the protesters disregarded messages sent out that told them to leave and even chanted “We’re not leaving” before the LAPD began to remove them in the early morning hours.

“AVOID THE AREA of Dickson Plaza due to police activity; Police have ordered an evacuation of Dickson Plaza due to an unlawful assembly,” a campus safety alert on Thursday morning said. “DO NOT re-enter the area of Dickson Plaza & follow the direction of public safety personnel. UCLA has modified campus operations.”

Campus operations were set to be limited Thursday and Friday, the campus safety alert added, and all in-person classes were required to move to a remote schedule.

Live local news coverage of the action on campus Thursday showed that the encampment appeared to be cleared out as day broke, with many of the protesters being led away in zip ties. The California Highway Patrol said Thursday at least 200 people were arrested.

Encampment Declared Unlawful

The safety alert noted that LAPD had declared the encampment and all unauthorized tents and structures in Dickson Plaza to be unlawful.

“The University requires that everyone must leave the encampment and adjacent areas, as well as all unauthorized structures and tents immediately, until further notice,” UCLA said in their message to students. “If you fail to leave and remain present in the encampment or unauthorized tents or structures in Dickson Plaza, regardless of your purpose for remaining, you will be in violation of the law and those who choose to remain could face sanctions.”

The university said students could face disciplinary measures such as interim suspension that, after proper due process through the student conduct process, could lead to dismissal.

“Faculty disciplinary actions would be handled through Senate judiciary committees and Academic Affairs and Personnel, and staff employee disciplinary actions would be handled through Human Resources,” the institution added.

Students were seen in live news coverage of LAPD actions on campus Thursday morning being placed in zip ties. Buses that appear to be for transporting large numbers of detained protesters were also seen in the live footage.

Flashbang sounds were also heard and police were seen removing the heavily barricaded structure around the encampment, including plywood, metal barriers, and many tents.

The move comes after similar action has been taken by law enforcement at other universities across the country following weeks of Pro-Palestinian/Anti-Israel protests—most notably at Columbia University, where the NYPD moved in to remove protesters who had barricaded themselves inside a residence hall earlier this week.

NTD Photo
Members of law enforcement enter a Pro-Palestinian encampment at UCLA in Los Angeles on May 2, 2024. (Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

Previous Action at UCLA

California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office has criticized the response of campus law enforcement at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) following a riot late Tuesday night between opposing groups after counter-protesters supporting Israel pulled down the barricades of an encampment.

In a May 1 statement posted to social media platform X, Mr. Newsom’s office criticized the alleged subpar response from campus law enforcement during the violence.

“The limited and delayed campus law enforcement response at UCLA last night was unacceptable—and it demands answers,” the statement said.

“As soon as it became clear that the state assistance was needed to support a local response, our office immediately deployed CHP [California Highway Patrol] personnel to campus.”

According to Mr. Newsom’s office, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services has been providing statewide law enforcement support, including “responding for assistance at UCLA throughout the night and early morning.”

“The state has established a robust Law Enforcement Mutual Aid System to provide law enforcement assistance to college campuses when requested during incidents beyond the capacity of local and campus police.”

In a separate statement posted to X, Mr. Newsom condemned the rioters’ actions and said the law in these cases is clear.

“The right to free speech does not extend to inciting violence, vandalism, or lawlessness on campus,” he said. “Those who engage in illegal behavior must be held accountable for their actions, including through criminal persecution, suspension, or expulsion.”

Stephen Katte contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.