Activists to ask USC President to initiate ’emergency campus student dialogue’ – NBC Los Angeles

Activists on Monday plan to ask USC President Carol Folt to initiate an “emergency campus student dialogue” in response to campus protests over the war in Gaza.

A demonstration at USC is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., at the USC entrance on the corner of Hoover Street and Jefferson Boulevard.

Protesters at USC and UCLA

The groups have gathered at USC and UCLA in recent days to demonstrate support for Palestinian and Israeli efforts in the Middle East during the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

At UCLA, police set up barricades before hundreds of protesters from both sides joined a growing crowd Sunday near tents where pro-Palestinian students have been housed 24 hours a day.

Pro-Israel protesters who arrived for a rally “in support of Jewish students” said their goal was to “rise up against hatred and anti-Semitism.” The counterprotest was organized by the Israeli-American Council, whose leader Elan Carr urged protesters to remain peaceful, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Across town, the University of Southern California (USC) said it was open Sunday after administrators closed the campus a day earlier due to what the school called vandalism and disruptions.

USC drew criticism after refusing to allow the valedictorian of this year’s class, who has publicly supported the Palestinian cause, to deliver a commencement speech. Administrators then scrapped filmmaker Jon M. Chu’s keynote speech. Last week, the school announced the cancellation of its main graduation event, a day after police in riot gear arrested more than 90 protesters.

At least one school, the University of Southern California, canceled its main graduation ceremony this spring. Others are asking the protests to resolve peacefully so they can hold their ceremonies.

Protesters on both sides of the rancorous debate shouted and shoved each other during dueling demonstrations Sunday at the University of California, Los Angeles. The university stepped up security after “some physical altercations broke out among demonstrators,” Mary Osako, vice chancellor for UCLA Strategic Communications, said in a statement. There were no reports of arrests or injuries.

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