Sun, 19 May 2024
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Tension grows high as police ask pro-Palestine protestors to leave UCLA

02 May, 2024 13:30

The tension in the University of California at Los Angeles rose high after police ordered pro-Palestine protestors to leave the university.

The development comes a day after pro-Israel protestors attacked the peaceful pro-Palestine encampment overnight, injuring many participants.

The authorities have ordered the dispersal of pro-Palestinian student encampment supporters, warning over loudspeakers that anyone who refused to leave could face arrest.

Hundreds of helmeted police descended onto the campus for crackdown on Wednesday evening as tension rose high on the U.S. college campuses where protests are gathered.

Hundreds of other pro-Palestinian activists have assembled outside the tent city jeered police with shouts of “Shame on you,”.

The demonstrators, many wearing the traditional Palestinian keffiyeh scarves, also chanted, “Disclose, divest, we will not stop. We will not rest,” and “Free free Palestine.”

The organizers of the pro-Palestine protest have instructed the participants not to engage with police or journalists, ignore the counter-protesters and don’t litter and no smoking or drinking, despite being brutally attacked by the counter-protesting party.

On Tuesday evening, despite their peaceful approach, a group of pro-Israel counter-protesters had attacked them, tearing down barricades and assaulting the participants with metal pipes, mace and pepper spray. Fireworks were also fired into the encampment.

The UCLA already cancelled classes after the chaotic situation, with the administration condemning the “horrific acts of violence” against the encampment, which was erected in protest of Israel’s war in Gaza.

One of the encampment spokesperson, who goes by the name Anna, said dozens of pro-Palestine protesters were injured in the attack which lasted from late Tuesday night into the early hours of Wednesday morning.

She added that the attack partly took place under the gaze of police, who stepped in several hours after the violence began.

“The police did nothing,” she told Al Jazeera. Anna explained she had spent hours assisting others who had been hurt.

“They were coming at us with metal pipes. Numerous people went to the hospital because of how badly they were injured. One person left in a wheelchair. Another had their hand completely smashed.”

Moreover, she claimed that “when LAPD and the California Highway Patrol were called to the scene, they did not intervene with the violent protesters for an hour”.

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