Police raid anti-Israel encampment at UCLA and arrest dozens

Dozens of protesters were taken into custody as authorities moved to break up the protest.

Police raid anti-Israel encampment at UCLA and arrest dozens
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong
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In the early hours of Thursday morning, police began the process of dismantling an encampment set up by anti-Israel protesters at UCLA, arresting dozens of individuals in the process. Around 3:00 a.m. local time, police moved in on the encampment located at the campus' Dickson Plaza, according to NBC News. 

UCLA officials issued a safety alert on Thursday, stating, "AVOID THE AREA of Dickson Plaza due police activity; Police have ordered an evacuation of Dickson Plaza due to an unlawful assembly. DO NOT re-enter the area of Dickson Plaza & follow the direction of public safety personnel." The alert further emphasized that the university requires everyone to leave the encampment and adjacent areas, as well as all unauthorized structures and tents, immediately and until further notice.

The arrests come after days of protesters camping out to demonstrate against Israel's war with Hamas. Campus authorities had previously instructed the protesters to leave, deeming the encampment unlawful. This directive was issued even as occupiers demanded to be supplied with food and other necessities. On Tuesday, the anti-Israel protesters clashed with a group of counter-protesters, further escalating tensions on campus.

Videos circulating online show police attempting to break through the lines of protesters, some of whom are wearing protective gear such as helmets and goggles. Additional footage captures police in riot gear clearing away boards, metal barriers, and other objects used by the occupiers to fortify their camp.

The intervention at UCLA is not an isolated incident, as police have taken action against anti-Israel encampments at other universities across the country. On Tuesday night, the NYPD swarmed Hamilton Hall at Columbia University, which had been occupied by protesters, resulting in dozens of arrests. Similarly, at Dartmouth University in New Hampshire, police arrested approximately 90 protesters who had refused to leave an illegal campus camp they had established, according to ABC News.

New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu expressed his support for the police actions at the University of New Hampshire and Dartmouth, stating on X, "State police mobilized to support local law enforcement at UNH + [Dartmouth] to quickly address the encampments, which violate school policies. Thanks to all those who worked with UNH & Dartmouth to provide on-the-ground support. Peaceful protests are fine, breaking the law is not."

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