Fights break out between pro-Israel, pro-Palestine protesters at UCLA

Fights break out between pro-Israel, pro-Palestine protesters at UCLA | The Hill

UCLA campus police cycle around the perimeter of a pro-Palestinian encampment on the UCLA campus Friday, April 26, 2024, in Los Angeles. As the death toll mounts in the war in Gaza and the humanitarian crisis worsens, protesters at universities across the country are demanding schools cut financial ties to Israel and divest from companies they say are enabling the conflict. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

UCLA campus police cycle around the perimeter of a pro-Palestinian encampment on the UCLA campus Friday, April 26, 2024, in Los Angeles. As the death toll mounts in the war in Gaza and the humanitarian crisis worsens, protesters at universities across the country are demanding schools cut financial ties to Israel and divest from companies they say are enabling the conflict. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Protesters occupying a pro-Palestine encampment and pro-Israel counterprotesters clashed at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) campus on Sunday as college demonstrations continue nationwide.

Fights began between isolated members of the two groups before a counterprotest demonstration by the Israeli American Council, the Daily Bruin reported. Thousands gathered at the center of UCLA’s campus on Sunday, backing both sides of the protest.

A small number of counterprotesters attempted to breach barriers erected by the university to separate the two protest groups in the early morning, the Bruin reported. Pro-Palestine protesters later breached the same barriers, resulting in small skirmishes.

Mary Osako, UCLA vice chancellor and spokesperson, denounced the clashes.

“This morning, a group of demonstrators breached a barrier that the university had established separating two groups of protestors on our campus, resulting in physical altercations,” Osako said in the statement. “UCLA has a long history of being a place of peaceful protest, and we are heartbroken about the violence that broke out.”

The protests remained largely peaceful on Sunday, on both sides, the Bruin reported. No arrests were reported from the skirmishes.

Sunday’s protests continued a national movement of college students taking over campus public spaces to protest the Biden administration’s response to the Israel-Hamas war and urge their colleges to divest from Israeli interests.

Hundreds of students have been arrested across the country, and the students have taken the political spotlight. Columbia University, where protests first began last week, hosted Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.), New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) and multiple members of Congress from both sides of the aisle.

The protests have not changed the policy of the Biden administration, which has largely denounced the demonstrations as antisemitic. GOP leaders, including Johnson, have called on Biden to use the National Guard to quell the movements, which he has declined.

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Columbia University


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Israel


Israel-Hamas war


Joe Biden


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Mike Johnson


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