UCLA Chancellor addresses community following clear out of campus encampment – NBC Los Angeles

UCLA Chancellor, Gene D. Block, addressed the Bruin community after a weeks of unrest that culminated early Thursday after officers dismantled the pro-Palestinian encampment.

“Our community is in deep pain. We are reeling from days of violence and division. And we hope with all our hearts that we can return to a place where our students, faculty and staff feel safe and, one day, connected again,” wrote Block.

The chancellor said that Thursday’s operation was carried out with guidance from several important principles. “The need to support the safety and wellbeing of Bruins, the need to support the free expression rights of our community, and the need to minimize disruption to our teaching and learning mission,” wrote Block.

Block pointed to the “several days of violent clashes,” between protesters and counter-protesters that put other students in harm’s way and created an unsafe enviroment.

The chancellor added that the university will continue to investigate the violent incidents, “especially Tuesday night’s horrific attack by a mob of instigators,” where chemical sprays and firecrackers were seen being hurled towards the encampment.

“In the end, the encampment on Royce Quad was both unlawful and a breach of policy. It led to unsafe conditions on our campus and it damaged our ability to carry out our mission. It needed to come to an end,” wrote block.

According to LAPD Police Chief, Domic Choi, a total of 210 arrests were made by the UCLA Police Department for Failure to Disperse.

The clearing of the encampment in front of Royce Hall revealed trash, medical supplies and other items left behind in the area. Graffiti and signs appeared on the exterior walls of the building.

It was not immediately clear when charges will be filed.

“Our immediate concern is ensuring the fair treatment of all individuals involved in the recent events at UCLA,” said LA County Public Defender, Ricardo D. García. “We are closely monitoring the situation and have deployed our Rapid Response Team to provide on-the-ground support to arrestees.

“We are committed to providing legal representation and support to those who have been arrested or may face legal proceedings. At this time, we do not have information on what, if any, charges will be presented. Nonetheless, it is essential that due process and the presumption of innocence are upheld. We will work diligently to protect the rights of our clients throughout.”

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