UCLA police confront left-wing mob and fortified encampment as anti-Israel protests intensify on campus

Police at the University of California, Los Angeles, clashed with a left-wing crowd Thursday morning, as officers began dismantling an anti-Israel encampment and arresting agitators with zip ties.

California Highway Patrol officers flocked to campus by the hundreds early Thursday. Wearing face shields and protective vests, they stood with their batons protruding to separate them from the protesters, who wore helmets and gas masks and chanted: “You want peace. We want justice.

Law enforcement removed the barricades after hundreds of protesters defied orders to leave. Some people were arrested with their hands tied with zip ties.

The action came after police spent hours threatening arrest over loudspeakers if people did not disperse. A crowd of more than 1,000 people gathered on campus, both inside and outside a barricaded tent encampment, in a show of support, according to the Associated Press. Anti-Israel agitators and police jostled and fought as officers met resistance.

As police helicopters flew overhead, the air was pierced by the sound of flash-bangs, which produced a bright light and loud noise. Protesters chanted: “Where were you last night? to officers, in reference to Tuesday evening, when counterprotesters attacked the anti-Israel encampment and the UCLA administration and campus police took hours to respond.

In the Middle East, Iranian state television broadcast live footage of the police action, as did Qatar's pan-Arab satellite channel Al Jazeera. Live footage from Los Angeles was also broadcast on Israeli television networks, according to the AP.

Earlier, law enforcement in riot gear tore down the plywood barrier surrounding the UCLA anti-Israel encampment and entered the area around 1:54 a.m. local time, after hours of clashes tense with hundreds of anti-Israeli demonstrators on the campus. Shortly after entering the Dickson Plaza encampment, police appeared to withdraw from the area and are now engaged in a new confrontation with protesters.

Some in the crowd threw water bottles and other objects as dozens of police officers ran back, the AP reported.

Widespread cheers could be heard from protesters as police regrouped outside the encampment and the plywood barrier was put back in place.


Police officer arrests UCLA protester

Pro-Palestinian protesters are arrested on the UCLA campus on Thursday, May 2, 2024, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Armed with batons and in full riot gear, California Highway Patrol officers returned about an hour later and stood just feet from dozens of protesters, who threw objects and shouted. More than 100 protesters descended stairs leading to the camp to block a side entrance to the camp where police were advancing, the AP said.

The police made a massive demonstration, sending columns of officers approaching from all sides of the encampment. Members of the crowd shone lights in the officers' eyes.

Repeated explosions – likely flash bangs – were heard in the fortified camp early Thursday, as law enforcement in riot gear stood outside the plywood walls surrounding most of the camp, which was already behind the railing, and protesters could be seen standing. above plywood with strobe lights and Palestinian flags.

Protesters could be heard shouting: “We are not leaving”, “Shame” and “We do not consent to a search”.

Fox News correspondent Bill Melugin said electrical drills could be heard throughout the night as protesters continued to fortify the barrier that separated them from several agencies, including the Los Angeles Police Department, the California Highway Patrol and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office.

UCLA requires courses to be given remotely Thursday and Friday amid “campus emergency”

Police officers set up anti-Israel encampment at UCLA

Anti-Israel protesters stand their ground after police entered their encampment on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), May 2, 2024. (ÉTIENNE LAURENT/AFP via Getty Images)

A large number of police officers began arriving late Wednesday afternoon, following the issuance of a dispersal order.

Multiple law enforcement sources told Fox News on Wednesday that the LAPD and surrounding agencies, including the Santa Monica PD and Los Angeles County sheriffs, were not contacted by UCLA until after midnight.

Sources said chaos began to erupt on the UCLA campus around 11 p.m. local time. Once outside agencies were requested, they were deployed around 1 a.m. PST.

Anti-Israel protesters shine spotlight on police at UCLA

Anti-Israel agitators shine their flashlights at officers as police attempt to force their way into their encampment on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), in Los Angeles, California, early May 2, 2024. (ÉTIENNE LAURENT/AFP via Getty Images)

LAPD sources told Fox News that they are not authorized to respond to campus under any circumstances unless formally requested by UCLA.

“The violence unfolding tonight at UCLA is absolutely heinous and inexcusable. The LAPD has arrived on campus,” Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass wrote in a May 1 post on X.


Empty buses were parked near UCLA to take away protesters who failed to comply with the dispersal order.

The law enforcement presence and continued warnings contrasted with the scene the night before, when counterprotesters attacked the anti-Israel encampment on Tuesday, throwing traffic cones, releasing pepper spray and destroying barriers, according to the AP. Fighting continued for several hours before police intervened, but no arrests were made. At least 15 protesters were injured and the authorities' lukewarm response drew criticism from political leaders as well as Muslim students and advocacy groups.

Police rush to UCLA

Police attempt to force their way through an anti-Israel encampment as protesters block access via stairs to their encampment on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), in Los Angeles, California, beginning May 2, 2024. (Photo by ETIENNE LAURENT/AFP via Getty Images)

“Late last night, a group of instigators came to Royce Quad to forcefully attack the encampment that was established there to defend Palestinian rights. Physical violence followed, and our campus requested support from Palestinian forces. “external orders to help put an end to this appalling aggression, quell the fighting and protect our community.” UCLA Chancellor Gene D. Block said in a statement Wednesday. “We are still gathering information about last night’s camp attack and I can assure you that we will conduct a thorough investigation which could lead to arrests, expulsions and dismissals.”

“This is a dark chapter in our campus history. We will restore a safe learning environment to UCLA,” Block added.


By Wednesday afternoon, a small town had sprung up inside the reinforced encampment, now filled with hundreds of people and tents on campus. Some protesters recited Muslim prayers, while others chanted “We are not leaving” or handed out goggles and surgical masks. They wore helmets and scarves and discussed the best ways to deal with pepper spray or tear gas while someone chanted into a megaphone.

The chancellor has yet to address the incident which took place on Thursday morning.

Fox News' Alexandria Hernandez, Elizabeth Pritchett and Associated Press contributed to this report.


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