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Dozens arrested in new pro-Palestinian protests at University of California, Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Police thwarted attempts by pro-Palestinian demonstrators to set up a new encampment at the University of California, Los Angeles, where officers cleared a previous camp this spring after it was attacked by counterprotesters.

Officers arrested 27 people late Monday during the demonstration, Rick Braziel, UCLA associate vice chancellor for campus safety, said in a statement.

The individuals were cited for willful disruption of university operations and one for interfering with an officer, according to UCLA police. They were issued 14-day orders to stay away from UCLA and then released.

Any student arrested will face disciplinary action, which could include being banned from campus and not being able to take finals or participate in commencement ceremonies, Braziel said.

The demonstrators repeatedly tried to set up tents, canopies and barriers as they moved to various locations, disrupting nearby final exams. The group also damaged a fountain, spray-painted brick walkways, tampered with fire safety equipment, damaged patio furniture, stripped wire from electrical fixtures and vandalized vehicles, police said.

During the demonstration, there were also attacks that led to six UCLA police being injured, as well as a security guard left bleeding from the head after being struck, according to Braziel.

“Simply put, these acts of non-peaceful protest are abhorrent and cannot continue,” Braziel said in the statement.

Protest camps have sprung up on university campuses across the U.S. and in Europe as students demand their universities stop doing business with Israel or companies that support its war efforts. Organizers have sought to amplify calls to end Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza, which they describe as a genocide against the Palestinians.

UCLA has been repeatedly roiled by protests and the university administration’s handling of the situation.

At one point, a pro-Palestinian encampment was attacked by counterprotesters, with no immediate response from police, and dozens were then arrested as the camp was cleared. The episode led to reassignment of the campus police chief and creation of a new campus safety office. A subsequent attempt to set up a new camp was also blocked.

Monday’s protest comes just days before University of California regents are scheduled to meet at UCLA and this coming weekend’s commencement ceremonies.

By JOHN ANTCZAK and JAIMIE DING
Associated Press

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