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Pro-Palestinian protesters carrying fake corpses clash with police on UCLA campus

Droves of police respond to pro-Palestinian protesters marching across UCLA campus
Droves of police respond to pro-Palestinian protesters marching across UCLA campus 03:34

Police arrested more than 25 people after they fired pepper bullets into a crowd between Bunche Hall and Perloff Hall at UCLA during a Israel-Hamas war protest on Monday.

The UCLA chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine began a vigil at 2 p.m. Monday in Bruin Plaza, planning to read the names of the "over 46,000 Palestinians who have been martyred or buried under the rubble" in the Israel-Hamas war, according to the organization. 

The group created what it called "a facsimile of the encampment in order to hold a symbolic funeral on the stairs near Royce Quad. When asked to disperse, they moved the symbolic funeral to a new location, organizers said. 

SkyCal was overhead as hundreds of people walked through the Westwood campus around 3 p.m. 

Protesters set up tents on the UCLA campus on June 10, 2024.  KCAL News

Following a funeral-procession-like march which included people carrying fake bloody bodies and body parts, the group began amassing in the Dickson Plaza area, the site of an earlier massive encampment that stayed in place for more than a week before it was dismantled by police in an operation that resulted in more than 200 arrests

Related: Pro-Palestinian protesters descend on UCLA campus

Several of the masked protesters dumped red food coloring into the water of the plaza fountain. Others poured red paint on the Janss Steps, which lead to the fountain. Eventually, the red-dyed water was poured down the steps.

University police and campus security officers were quick to respond to the area and used bicycles in an effort to prevent more protesters from entering the area.

Approximately 10 counter-protesters between Dodd Hall and Murphy Hall harassed protesters, including by attempting to surround a protester carrying a Palestinian flag.

Around 3:15 p.m., a group of approximately 100 people affiliated with Students for Justice in Palestine at UCLA marched to the walkway at the top of the Janss Steps and set up an unauthorized and unlawful encampment with tents, canopies, wooden shields, and water-filled barriers, according to the UCLA Police Department. 

Protesters clash with police on UCLA campus 18:29

A UCPD officer told the Daily Bruin, the campus newspaper, that the gathering had already been declared an unlawful assembly shortly after 4 p.m. The Los Angeles Police Department briefly declared a citywide tactical alert, enable the agency to keep officers on duty beyond their normal shifts.

Shortly before 6 p.m., university police gave protesters 10 minutes to disperse, telling them they would face arrest if they did not leave the area. The protesters quickly complied. The group dismantled their tents and removed other materials from the plaza, and walked down the Janss Steps.

Protesters standing face to face with law enforcement on the UCLA campus o June 10, 2024.  KCAL News

The group then marched to the Kerckhoff patio, where they set up an unauthorized and unlawful encampment with tents, canopies, and barricades with patio furniture, police said. The group also restricted access to the general public in violation of university policy.

The group's conduct, which included entering Moore Hall, also disrupted nearby final exams. After UCPD issued dispersal orders, the group began to leave the area. The group then marched to the courtyard between Dodd Hall and the School of Law, where they set up another unauthorized and unlawful encampment, police said. The group restricted access to the general public in violation of university policy and disrupted nearby final exams.

Around 8 p.m. 27 members of the group were arrested for suspicion of willful disruption of university operations, police said. They were cited and issued a 14-day stay away orders from UCLA property.

At 8:38 p.m., a UCPD lieutenant declared the assembly unlawful and told all those assembled in the courtyard between Dodd Hall and the School of Law, or east or south of the area, to exit the area within 10 minutes, the Daily Bruin reported. 

Hundreds of protesters stood in front of at least 50 UCPD, LAPD, Culver City Police Department and California Highway Patrol officers outside Dodd Hall around 8:45 p.m. SkyCAL flew over the scene and all officers could be seen wearing riot gear

Protesters called for a medic around 8:45 p.m., saying someone has suffered a head injury.

Around 100 protesters outside Dodd Hall around 10 p.m. Monday chanted, "We are the revolution," and "No justice, no peace, no racist police," according to the Daily Bruin.

New video shows police detaining woman in the midst of pro-Palestinian protests at UCLA 06:21

Just after midnight on Tuesday, June 11, police fired pepper bullets at a crowd of around 50 between Bunche Hall and Perloff Hall, the Daily Bruin reported.

Crowds then dispersed in response. The group damaged the Shapiro fountain, spray-painted brick walkways, tampered with fire safety equipment, damaged patio furniture, stripped wire from electrical fixtures and vandalized vehicles, police said.

Late Tuesday, UCLA officials issued a statement on the Monday's protest. 

"This was completely unacceptable. The demonstration activity disregarded our values as a community, violated our campus policies and broke the law," said a portion of the statement from Rick Braziel, Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Safety. "These actions injured people, threatened the safety of our community and vandalized our campus. These actions also prevented students from completing their final exams."

Braziel said that they're working to determine how many of the 27 people arrested are actually students of the university, and those who are will be subject to disciplinary actions. 

"Disruptions and protests are expected at various locations on campus through the end of our commencement ceremonies. Rights to free expression will be protected, but we will not tolerate violence," he said.

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