At least 25 arrested after pro-Palestinian camps formed on UCLA campus, police say


At least 25 people were arrested after setting up multiple pro-Palestinian camps on the UCLA campus on Monday that police said were illegal, according to a statement from the UCLA Police Department.

As a result of the encampments, the group damaged a fountain, spray-painted brick sidewalks, tampered with fire safety equipment, damaged lawn furniture, stripped wires from electrical fixtures and vandalized vehicles, police said in the release.

As protests spread across college campuses this spring denouncing Israel’s handling of its war against Hamas in Gaza, the UCLA campus became a scene of brutality on April 30 when violent counterprotesters attacked pro-Palestinian protesters.

A CNN analysis found that some of the most dramatic attacks caught on camera that night were committed by people outside of UCLA, not the university students and professors who were ultimately arrested.

But on Monday, a group of about 100 people associated with a student organization registered at UCLA set up camp at the top of Janss Steps around 3:15 p.m., UCPD said.

The group resisted leaving the area after initial warnings, but left after UCPD issued multiple dispersal orders. Protesters moved to Kerckhoff’s yard, where they “established an unauthorized and illegal encampment with tents, canopies and barricades with lawn furniture,” police said.

The group also entered Moore Hall and disrupted nearby final exams, police said.

A pro-Palestinian protester is detained Monday in front of Dodd Hall at UCLA.

Another round of dispersal orders led the group to the courtyard between Dodd Hall and the Law School, where they set up a third camp, according to police.

UCLA associate professor Graeme Blair, a member of the Faculty for Justice in Palestine, said a student went to the hospital after being wounded by a rubber bullet, which Blair said was fired when the students were at the camp near Dodd Hall, the Los Angeles Times reported. . Blair, who participated in the protests, criticized authorities and said students had followed orders to disperse throughout the night. CNN has reached out to Blair for comment.

A UC police representative declined to comment on the arrests or say whether “less-than-lethal” weapons were used, the Times reported.

CNN has reached out to the UCLA Police Department for comment on the arrests and whether rubber bullets were used.

Around 8 p.m., about 25 people were arrested for intentionally disrupting university operations, according to the police statement.

Those people were cited, issued a 14-day restraining order from UCLA property and released, police said.

Another person was arrested earlier during the setup of the first camp for interfering with a police officer. That person was cited and released, UCPD said.

Around 150 protesters remained in the area as of 10:30 p.m. Monday.

Tensions have simmered on the UCLA campus over how the university has responded to protesters and counterprotesters in recent months. Faculty members have been divided over whether Provost Gene Block “failed to ensure the safety of our students and grossly mishandled the events.”

This is a developing story and will be updated.

CNN’s Amanda Musa contributed to this report.

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