Violent Protests Erupt On UCLA Campus

May 1, 2024 ·

Violent protests erupted on the UCLA campus on Tuesday, April 30. Photo by Michael Gordon/Shutterstock.

WESTWOOD—Demonstrations in Royce Quad on the UCLA campus in Westwood turned violent on Tuesday, April 30. Protestors in support of Palestine clashed with counter-protestors during the nighttime hours on Tuesday that resulted in the Los Angeles Police Department being called to the campus.

Counter-protestors arrived on campus with loud-speakers shortly after 10 p.m. Individuals were seen being beaten and plywood boards were used to attack each other.

Independent Journalist Anthony Cabassa who was on the UCLA campus, posted the following statement on X:

“UCLA UPDATE 🚨: Still ZERO law enforcement present, dozens of people needing medical assistance, and this man appears to be bleeding profusely from his right arm. Security ordered to stand down, no LAPD presence. A Jewish woman said multiple men assaulted her, no security help.”

Individuals were maced during the incident, and a barricade separating those in support of Palestine and those supporting Israel was destroyed. Video on social media showed fireworks being setoff against the groups on Tuesday night, early Wednesday morning.

UCLA cancelled classes Wednesday as a result of the violence that transpired Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Protestors were threatened by officers from the LAPD who arrived in Swat Gear to disperse or face arrest.

Chancellor Gene D. Block from the UCLA released the following statement on April 30:

“This past Thursday [April 25], a group of demonstrators — both members of the UCLA community and others unaffiliated with our campus — established an unauthorized physical encampment on part of Royce Quad, joining those who have set up similar presences at universities around the country.

Many of the demonstrators, as well as counter-demonstrators who have come to the area, have been peaceful in their activism. But the tactics of others have frankly been shocking and shameful. We have seen instances of violence completely at odds with our values as an institution dedicated to respect and mutual understanding. In other cases, students on their way to class have been physically blocked from accessing parts of the campus.

UCLA supports peaceful protest, but not activism that harms our ability to carry out our academic mission and makes people in our community feel bullied, threatened and afraid. These incidents have put many on our campus, especially our Jewish students, in a state of anxiety and fear.

In response, we’ve taken several immediate actions. We have significantly increased our security presence in the area, including adding greater numbers of law enforcement officers, safety personnel and student affairs mitigators. We have also engaged law enforcement to investigate the recent acts of violence.

The barriers that demonstrators used to block access to buildings have been removed, and we have staff located around Royce Quad to help ensure that they will not go up again. With regard to these incidents, our student conduct process has been initiated, and could lead to disciplinary action including suspension or expulsion.

We continue to encourage anyone who experiences discrimination to report it to our Civil Rights Office. If you feel you are in danger, contact UCPD.

I recognize that the suffering in the Middle East has had a profound impact on our campus, and we continue to hope for a peaceful resolution. While Bruins hold a variety of perspectives on this conflict, we must all protect the wellbeing of our peers and maintain an environment safe for learning. This is a commitment I call on our community to uphold as we navigate the weeks ahead.”

Mara Vaill posted on Facebook, “UCLA, this is reprehensible behavior. Every one of the student protesters should be expelled. No return on tuition. No coming back. They are breaking campus rules. I will never donate to UCLA ever again. It’s sad too because UniCamp was such a happy childhood memory for me.”

Students protesting outside of Columbia University in New York.
Photo by Lev Radin via Shutterstock.

In New York, at Columbia University, authorities arrested over 100 people who broke into Hamilton Hall and refused to come out after creating a tent encampment in protest of the war in Gaza. Officers with the New York Police Department arrived on campus after 9 p.m. on April 30 and announced Hamilton Hall was clear almost two hours later.

Graduation is scheduled for Columbia University on May 15, and authorities have been asked to stay around campus until May 17. Students were asked to shelter-in place as a result of the protests on campus in recent weeks. Tons of furniture inside of Hamilton Hall was damaged during the melee.

Protests have also taken place on college campus Yale University, New York University, Harvard University, University of Texas at Austin, University of Southern California, the University of Arizona-Tucson and the University of Utah to name a few.

Many college graduation ceremonies across the U.S. have been cancelled at several universities as a result of the protests and violence on campuses.

By Trevor

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