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Over 200 people arrested at pro-Palestinian encampment on UCLA campus

Over 200 people arrested at pro-Palestinian encampment on UCLA campus
Over 200 people arrested at pro-Palestinian encampment on UCLA campus 04:45

Over 200 people have been arrested at a pro-Palestinian encampment on UCLA campus as protesters resisted officers on Thursday, according to UCLA police.

Protesters were given a dismissal notice on Wednesday, May 1, at 6 p.m. after authorities declared the encampment an "unlawful assembly" and ordered demonstrators to leave the area.

UCLA said any students remaining inside the encampment could face discipline ranging up to expulsion, while university staffers could face termination and people unaffiliated with UCLA could face misdemeanor criminal charges.

RELATED: Police issue unlawful assembly order at pro-Palestinian encampment at UCLA

Despite those warnings, the encampment remained intact, and after a roughly 9-hour standoff, hundreds of officers in riot gear breached the perimeter of the encampment and started making arrests. 

After the arrests, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass issued the following statement saying, "Every student deserves to be safe and live peacefully on their campus. Harassment, vandalism and violence have no place at UCLA or anywhere in our city."

Aftermath of encampment on UCLA campus 02:53

California Highway Patrol along with LAPD advanced on the encampment around 2:45 a.m., encountering heavy resistance from protesters and their supporters near the western side of Royce Hall.  

Authorities moved through a makeshift blockade of trash bins and reached the perimeter of the camp, where they began tearing away metal barricades and plywood planks that had been erected around the encampment.   

Officers deployed seemingly dozens of flash-bang devices as they walked deeper into the encampment, pulling out tents one by one. People inside the encampment wrote on social media that officers fired less-than-lethal projectiles at them.

LAPD officers move in on pro-Palestinian encampment at UCLA campus

Around 4 a.m., officers had largely dismantled the eastern front of the encampment. However, hundreds of protesters remained steadfast and formed a line with their arms linked, facing off with an equally long line of officers.

CHP make arrests at pro-Palestinian encampment at UCLA campus

Multiple students and faculty members were among those being detained as law enforcement officers raided the encampment. Buses arrived on campus to take away the detainees.    

"We have to challenge these systems of oppression so that we can free Gaza and free all peoples who are oppressed," said a woman who identified herself as a UCLA senior. 

RELATED: UCLA cancels classes after violence erupts on campus between protest groups

All UCLA classes on Thursday and Friday will be held remotely, with university officials saying operations at the Westwood campus would be "limited." All campus employees were "encouraged to work remotely wherever possible."  

Timeline of UCLA protest

  • Dispersal orders issued for protesters at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, May 1.
  • Law enforcement advance and start detaining protesters at 2:45 a.m. on Thursday, May 2.
  • Encampment area cleared of protesters around 4:45 a.m.
  • Protesters and police remain on UCLA campus at 8 a.m.
  • Crews start encampment cleanup at 9 a.m.

President Biden addresses UCLA protest

President Joe Biden addressed the protests and demonstrations on campuses across the country from the White House Thursday morning. He said he supports peaceful protests, but there needs to be a balance between freedom of speech and rule of law.

"We're a civil society and order must prevail," Biden said.

The demonstrations and protesters have disrupted classes, graduations and other events on college campuses. The protesters at UCLA have vandalized school property with graffiti, destroyed property and threatened students.

RELATED: Biden says "order must prevail" on college campuses, but National Guard should not intervene in protests

Biden said this is "not a moment for politics. It is a moment for clarity."

While leaving the briefing at the White House, reporters asked him if the demonstrations will persuade him to change his policy in the Middle East. He said, "No."

He was also asked if he would send in the National Guard to address the protests on college campuses. He responded, "No." 

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