Advertisement

Police clear pro-Palestine encampment at CSULA

June 18 (UPI) -- Authorities have cleared a pro-Palestine encampment that has been protesting for more than 40 days on the campus of California State University, Los Angeles, after demonstrators last week occupied a school building, destroying offices.

University president Berencea Johnson Eanes said California Highway Patrol led the clearing response at 1:20 p.m. Monday, resulting in no arrests or injuries.

Advertisement

The encampment was erected as several like it were set up at universities across the United States and Canada demanding that the schools divest from companies and institutions connected to Israel's war in Gaza and its actions in the occupied territories.

On Wednesday, protesters occupied the first four floors of the CSULA's Student Services Building, destroying offices, stealing property and causing what Eans described the next day as "significant damage."

"To be clear, once those associated with the encampment engaged in unlawful acts that put staff and students in the SSB at risk (including assault, vandalism, destruction of property and looting), the only acceptable option for the safety of the entire campus community was for the encampment to disband and disperse," Eanes said Monday in a statement.

Advertisement

"We will not negotiate with those who would use destruction and intimidation to meet their goals."

Students for Justice in Palestine at CSULA said in a statement on Instagram said 150 riot gear-clad officers swept the encampment following "zero notice" from the administration.

"Cops verbally gave those present inside the encampment 5 minutes to gather their belongings and leave," it said. "Those who were not within the encampment at the time of 'dispersal' were not allowed to enter to retrieve their belongings in the 5-minute timespan."

In late April, the office of the CSULA chancellor had announced that the school "does not intend to alter existing investment policies" related to Israel due to the Israel-Hamas war.

"While the CSU affirms the right of our community members to express diverse viewpoints, a divestment of this sort impinges on the academic freedom of our students and faculty and the unfettered exchange of ideas on our campuses," it said in a statement.

CSULA said all classes and operations at its main campus would be held virtually on Wednesday.

"I grieve with you, and I remain committed to doing everything we can to ensure this will never be allowed to be repeated," Eanes said.

Advertisement

Several encampments have similarly been dismantled by police, with the CSULA protest being among the last standing.

Latest Headlines