Clashes in Los Angeles around a pro-Palestinian encampment

Clashes in Los Angeles around a pro-Palestinian encampment
Clashes in Los Angeles around a pro-Palestinian encampment

“At the request of UCLA, due to numerous acts of violence committed in the encampment inside the campus, the LAPD intervenes to assist the university police and restore order and security,” announced the Los Angeles City Police on X.

Demonstrators and counter-protesters clashed with sticks, threw objects at each other and fired fireworks at each other, according to television images. The clashes, which began just before dawn, pitted pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli groups, according to CNN.

The New York police on Tuesday evening dislodged pro-Palestinian demonstrators barricaded in a building at Columbia University, intervening manu militari in the epicenter of the pro-Palestinian mobilization on American campuses. As elsewhere, students at Columbia, a private university, want the management to cut ties with patrons or companies linked to Israel.

For two weeks, many university leaders across the United States have faced demonstrators, sometimes only a few dozen, who have occupied their campuses to oppose the war waged by Israel in Gaza against Hamas. Pro-Palestinian students thus established a camp in the heart of the UCLA campus, on a lawn surrounded by barricades.

UCLA Chancellor Gene D. Block had warned, before these clashes, against the presence of people from outside the university. On Sunday, pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli activists, supported by numerous demonstrators from outside the campus, came to blows, with shoving and insults.

“Many protesters and counter-protesters practice their activism peacefully. But others use methods that are frankly shocking and shameful,” the chancellor wrote in a message posted Tuesday on the university’s website. “We have witnessed acts of violence. These incidents have caused, especially among our Jewish students, deep anxiety and fear,” he added.

The wave of protest against Israel’s war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip has been spreading across American universities for ten days. The movement started from Columbia where one hundred people were arrested on April 18. Since then, hundreds of others – students, teachers and activists – have been questioned, sometimes arrested and prosecuted in several universities across the country.

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