May 24, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Peace Prevails Amidst UCLA Protests, Counterprotest, and Palestine Encampment

Scuffles Reported, But No Serious Injuries Amidst UCLA Demonstrations

By Dolores Quintana

The third day of protests and the Palestine Encampment at UCLA was mostly peaceful, with the exception of scuffles that occurred early in the morning and mid-afternoon. According to the Los Angeles Fire Department, no serious injuries were reported. 

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) was not part of the police presence on campus or directly involved in keeping the two groups apart. The UCLA Police Department handled all of the crowd control involved in keeping the peace. We have not yet received a statement from the UCLA Police Department regarding what happened today, but the LAPD representative was not aware of any arrests and stated that the LAPD was not involved in crowd control. This reporter did not see any LAPD officers on campus, even during the clashes that erupted and arguments between the two sides. 

Mary Osako, vice chancellor of UCLA Strategic Communications, said in a press statement, “This morning, a group of demonstrators breached a barrier that the university had established, separating two groups of protestors on our campus, resulting in physical altercations. UCLA has a long history of being a place of peaceful protest, and we are heartbroken about the violence that broke out.”

Later in the day, after the demonstrations were over, Mary Osako, vice chancellor for UCLA Strategic Communications, added, via an emailed statement, “UCLA has a long history of peaceful protest, and we are heartbroken to report that today, some physical altercations broke out among demonstrators on Royce Quad. 

“We have since instituted additional security measures and increased the numbers of our safety team members on site.

“As an institution of higher education, we stand firmly for the idea that even when we disagree, we must still engage respectfully and recognize one another’s humanity. We are dismayed that certain individuals instead chose to jeopardize the physical safety of the community.”

Both groups were separated by two railings and about ten feet of space. The student encampment was closed to entry and observed a media blackout on Sunday. A group of pro-Palestine students did have a second protest on the street just outside of Royce Hall. 

A pro-Israeli counterprotest and rally featuring amplified music was held at 11:00 a.m. by a group known as Stand With Us. United Jewish Coalition and the Israel-American Council co-sponsored the event. After the rally was over, tensions between the two groups grew, and that was the second time scuffles broke out. One man jumped over a live streamer’s head to attempt to punch someone, and a second tension-filled moment occurred when a pro-Isreali protestor crumpled up a sign and threw it into the crowd.

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