Wed. May 29th, 2024

Pro-Palestinian clashes erupt at UCLA after dozens arrested in Columbia University raid

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell May15,2024
Violent clashes erupted on Wednesday on the campus of the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) between pro-Palestinian protesters and a group of counter-demonstrators, according to live video coverage provided by a US broadcaster.
The UCLA student newspaper Daily Bruin said supporters of Israel had tried to tear down a pro-Palestinian protest encampment on the campus.
Police were responding to UCLA Chancellor Gene Block’s request for support, Zach Seidl, Los Angeles Deputy Mayor of Communications, said on X.

Aerial footage from broadcaster KABC, an affiliate of ABC, showed people wielding sticks or poles to attack wooden boards being held up as a makeshift barricade to protect pro-Palestinian protesters, some holding placards or umbrellas.

A woman being arrested after a protest

New York Police were seen loading dozens of Columbia University protesters onto a bus, each with their hands bound behind their backs by zip-ties. Source: AAP / Syndi Pilar

Earlier on Wednesday, New York City police raided Columbia University to arrest dozens of pro-Palestinian demonstrators, some of whom had seized an academic building, and to remove a protest encampment the Ivy League school had sought to dismantle for nearly two weeks.

At the start of the raid throngs of helmeted police marched onto the elite campus in upper Manhattan, a focal point of student rallies that have spread to dozens of schools across the US in recent days expressing opposition to Israel’s war in Gaza.

US-PALESTINIAN-ISRAEL-EDUCATION-CONFLICT

NYPD officers arrest a student at Columbia University in New York City on April 30, 2024. Source: Getty / Timothy A. Clary

‘Shame, shame’

Soon after, a long line of officers climbed into Hamilton Hall, an academic building that protesters had broken into and occupied in the early morning hours of Tuesday. Police entered through a second-story window, using a police vehicle equipped with a ladder.
Police were seen loading dozens of detainees onto a bus, each with their hands bound behind their backs by zip-ties, the entire scene illuminated with flashing red and blue lights of police vehicles.
“Free, free, free Palestine,” chanted protesters outside the building. Others yelled “Let the students go.”

“Columbia will be proud of these students in five years,” said Sweda Polat, one of the student negotiators for Columbia University Apartheid Divest, the coalition of student groups that has organised the protests.

Students on a bus

At an evening news briefing held a few hours before police entered Columbia, Mayor Eric Adams and city police officials said the Hamilton Hall takeover was instigated by “outside agitators” who lack any affiliation with Columbia and are known to law enforcement for provoking lawlessness. Source: Getty / Kena Betancur

What did the protesters demand?

Protesters were seeking three demands from Columbia:

  • Divestment from companies supporting Israel’s government
  • Greater transparency in university finances
  • Amnesty for students and faculty disciplined over the protests
Columbia University President Minouche Shafik this week said Columbia would not divest from finances in Israel.

Instead, she offered to invest in health and education in Gaza and make Columbia’s direct investment holdings more transparent.

In a letter released on Wednesday, Shafik said the Hamilton Hall occupiers had vandalised University property and were trespassing, and that encampment protesters were suspended for trespassing. The university earlier warned that students taking part in the Hamilton Hall occupation faced academic expulsion.
The occupation began overnight when protesters broke windows, stormed inside and unfurled a banner reading “Hind’s Hall,” saying they were renaming the building for a 6-year-old Palestinian child killed in Gaza by the Israeli military.

The eight-story, neo-classical building has been the site of various student occupations dating back to the 1960s.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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2 thoughts on “Pro-Palestinian clashes erupt at UCLA after dozens arrested in Columbia University raid”
  1. As a supporter of peaceful protests, it’s disheartening to see violence erupting on university campuses. It is crucial for both sides to engage in constructive dialogue rather than resorting to physical confrontations. The situation calls for greater understanding and empathy from all parties involved.

  2. It’s truly disheartening to see the escalation of violence on college campuses. The clashes at UCLA and Columbia University only highlight the urgent need for peaceful dialogue and resolution in the Middle East conflict.

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