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Officers clear Cal Poly Humboldt buildings occupied by pro-Palestinian demonstrators; 35 arrested

California colleges grapple with pro-Palestinian demonstrators
California colleges grapple with pro-Palestinian demonstrators 01:07

ARCATA – Dozens of people have been arrested and the occupation of several buildings at Cal Poly Humboldt is now over, school officials announced Tuesday. 

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators had occupied two buildings on campus since last week and refused to leave.

On Monday, Cal Poly Humboldt officials posted a message on the school's website urging to protesters to leave peacefully now. A hard closure of the campus was implemented through May 10, with classes moving to remote work. 

Early Tuesday morning, according to a message posted to Cal Poly Humboldt's website, law enforcement officers began an operation to clear out and secure the two buildings that were being occupied: Siemens Hall and Nelson Hall East.

As a result of the operation, officials say 35 people were arrested. No injuries were reported.

"The law enforcement action at Cal Poly Humboldt was essential to reestablishing order on campus," said Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal in a statement after the operation.

The college had posted other messages early Tuesday morning warning that there was an "increased level of criminal activity on campus," telling students living in residence halls to shelter in place.

"By restoring order, we've sent a clear message that the criminal and dangerous activities we experienced were not peaceful protests, but outright criminal behavior, which is unacceptable," Sheriff Honsal said.

University officials stated that they've continued to try and resolve the situation.

"This is a difficult day, it breaks my heart to see it, and truly nobody wanted to see things come to this," said Cal Poly Humboldt's President Tom Jackson Jr. in a statement after the arrests were made.

Universities around the country have been dealing with similar protests in recent weeks, with law enforcement officers also resorting to making arrests in many cases

New protest encampments have also started popping up at California colleges this week, like at Sacramento State on Monday

Cal Poly Humboldt officials have yet to announce if the arrests will mean the campus will reopen, or if commencement ceremonies will be affected. 

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