Police make arrests at UCLA in tense clashes with Israel-Hamas war protesters

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators arrested from college campuses across the U.S. overnight; police crackdown echoed actions decades ago against a much larger movement protesting Vietnam War

May 02, 2024 10:08 pm | Updated 10:08 pm IST - LOS ANGELES

Protesters being detained at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) on May 2, 2024.

Protesters being detained at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) on May 2, 2024. | Photo Credit: Reuters

The police arrested pro-Palestinian protesters on college campuses across the U.S. overnight, notably at the University of California, Los Angeles, where chaotic scenes played out early on Thursday as officers in riot gear surged against a crowd of demonstrators and made arrests.

The police removed barricades and began dismantling demonstrators’ fortified encampment at UCLA after hundreds of protesters defied orders to leave, some of them forming human chains as police fired flash-bangs to break up the crowds.

Numerous protesters were arrested, their hands bound with zip ties.

The action came after officers spent hours threatening arrests over loudspeakers if people did not disperse. A crowd of more than 1,000 had gathered on campus, both inside a barricaded tent encampment and outside it, in support. Protesters and the police shoved and scuffled.

Protesters chanted, “Where were you last night?” at the officers, in reference to Tuesday night, when counterprotesters attacked the encampment and the UCLA administration and campus police took hours to respond.

Tent encampments of protesters calling on universities to stop doing business with Israel or companies they say support the war in Gaza have spread across campuses nationwide. The ensuing police crackdowns echoed actions decades ago against a much larger protest movement protesting the Vietnam War.

Yale University police arrested four persons on Wednesday night after around 200 demonstrators marched to the school president’s home and to the campus police department.

In Oregon, the police have started working to clear demonstrators out of a library at Portland State University.

The protests at UCLA appeared to be getting the most attention. Iranian state television carried live images of the police action, as did Qatar’s pan-Arab Al Jazeera satellite network. Live images of Los Angeles also played across Israeli television networks, as well.

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