Watch CBS News

Pro-Palestinian encampment blocks UCLA students from entering library during midterms

Pro-Palestinian protesters block UCLA students from entering campus
Pro-Palestinian protesters block UCLA students from entering campus 05:50

It's the sixth day of the pro-Palestinian encampment at UCLA's quad. It's also crunch time for midterms and some students are being blocked from entering certain parts of campus, including Powell Library. 

"Can you move this thing from my face?" one student said while encountering protesters. "Let me go. Let me pass. I am trying to get to the library."

Asher Taxon, a freshman public affairs student at UCLA, said he and his Jewish classmates said they have faced challenges since the pro-Palestinian rally started last Thursday. 

"It is scary being a Jewish student at UCLA. It is not safe right now," he said. "The university is not protecting us at all. We voiced our complaints. We voiced our concerns. We are getting denied. We are not getting acknowledged."

A UCLA spokesperson would not do an interview but released a statement. 

"While the demonstration remains largely peaceful, our campus must remain a place where we treat one another with respect and recognize our shared humanity — not a place where we devolve into violence and bullying," the spokesperson stated.

Marie, a grad student at UCLA who wished we only used her first name and wore a mask during the interview, took part in the pro-Palestinian and said the group could not let the "agitators" in "for security purposes."

"We have gone through an immense amount of harassment by pro-Israeli groups and the counter-protesters and constant harassment, day and night," she said. "It is just a glimpse into understanding what people on the ground in Gaza — what people for 75 years in Palestine have experienced."

Earlier on Tuesday, the UC Police Department detained a protester for attempting to put a Palestinian flag at the top of construction scaffolding on the campus. 

A witness who was able to enter the encampment said Royce Hall was vandalized. 

Students expressed their frustration with the encampment saying they "just want to get to class."

"It doesn't make any sense to me that students on our campus can simply intimidate you by standing there putting their arms out and block you," sophomore Declan Foley said. "I don't have passionate feelings about this situation at all. I just want to get to class."

UCLA increased its security presence with more campus law enforcement, safety personnel and student affairs monitors. 

The south side of the library is open to students with IDs. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.