USC closes campus following anti-Israel protest, 93 arrested for trespassing

The University of Southern California announced that its campus would remain closed “until further notice” following a large anti-Israel protest on Wednesday that resulted in 93 arrests.

The Los Angeles Police Department arrived on campus around 4 p.m. after the agitators refused to follow the university's request to leave the area, Capt. Kelly Muniz said on X, formerly Twitter, Wednesday evening.

After hours of clashes with campus police and the LAPD, the protest ended with the arrest of 93 people for trespassing.

“We have not determined whether or not they will be cited. If and when, it will be a misdemeanor. They are leaving and they will go through the booking process,” Muniz said, adding that the process is “long”.


The University of Southern California has closed its campus to unauthorized visitors “until further notice” after a major anti-Israel protest, the “solidarity occupation of Gaza,” sparked clashes with police and resulted in to a total of 94 arrests on Wednesday. (Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY)

Muniz said there was an altercation in part of the protest area that resulted in an arrest for assault with a deadly weapon. She did not say what the weapon was or give details of the incident, but said the rest of the agitators in the area dispersed after the arrest.

When asked if anyone was injured during the protest, Muniz said she was not aware of any injuries among the agitators or police officers.

USC asked the LAPD to come to campus and arrest agitators at a large anti-Israel protest for trespassing after they refused to leave the area. (Reuters/Zaydee Sánchez)

The university announced at 11:58 p.m. that the protest had ended, but that the campus would be closed “until further notice.”

“The protest against the UPC has ended. However, the campus remains closed until further notice. Students, faculty, staff and those with business on campus may enter with proper identification,” USC tweeted.


The protest, called the “Solidarity Occupation of Gaza,” began Wednesday morning and was one of many such demonstrations taking place on college campuses across America.

Los Angeles police arrested 93 people for alleged trespassing and one for assault with a deadly weapon following an anti-Israel protest at USC on Wednesday. (Reuters/Zaydee Sánchez)

In a letter to the campus community Wednesday afternoon, USC Provost Andrew Guzman said that while the university supports student free speech, certain guidelines must be followed in order for a demonstration takes place.

“We have well-established policies regarding the limits of time, place and manner of free expression,” Guzman wrote. “These include prohibiting the erection of tents or other encampments, the use of loudspeakers, signs on poles or stakes, and the disruption of classes and other essential functions of the university.”

He added that the protest outside Doheny Library, which is “in the center of university buildings,” appeared to involve many people unaffiliated with the university.

Students build anti-Israel encampment at USC

Guzman said USC's guidelines on protests do not allow “the setting up of tents or other encampments, the use of loudspeakers, signs on poles or stakes, or the disruption courses and other essential functions of the university. (Reuters/Zaydee Sánchez)

When security “repeatedly” asked the agitators to remove their tents and other prohibited items and then move them to a “compliant location,” they refused – ultimately leading the university to contact the LAPD to obtain reinforcements.

“Their actions have escalated to include acts of vandalism, damage to campus buildings and structures, and physical confrontations that threaten the safety of our officers and the campus community,” Guzman wrote.

He explained that the decision to close campus gates to unauthorized visitors “until further notice” was made in an effort to “limit the growth of the protest and maintain calm on the rest of campus.” The closure does not affect students, staff, or anyone else with proper USC identification.

USC Provost Andrew Guzman said the decision to close the campus to unauthorized visitors was made in an effort to “limit the growth of the protest and maintain calm on the rest of campus.” (Reuters/Zaydee Sánchez)


Guzman concluded the letter by reminding students that USC “rejects[s] hateful speech that causes harm to others. »

“During these difficult times, we call on the Trojan family to remember that every member of our community deserves respect, has the right to be safe on campus, take classes and participate in other activities on campus. campus without fear of harassment or intimidation. It should be everyone’s priority to treat each other with kindness and care,” he wrote.


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