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Friday, May 24, 2024
Friday May 24, 2024
Friday May 24, 2024

Hundreds of students arrested in US Gaza war protests, scuffles at UCLA

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Police deploy chemical irritants and tasers as pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli demonstrators clash

As rallies for a ceasefire in Gaza and divestment from companies linked to Israel gain momentum on US campuses, clashes between pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli demonstrators have escalated, resulting in hundreds of arrests and tense confrontations.

At the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), tensions reached a boiling point as pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli groups clashed. The pro-Palestinian encampment at UCLA has grown in recent days, drawing attention from both supporters and opponents. On Sunday, the situation turned violent when demonstrators breached a barrier separating the two factions, leading to physical altercations.

Mary Osako, UCLA’s vice chancellor for strategic communications, described the chaotic scene where individuals from both sides pushed, shoved, and exchanged insults. Campus police intervened, using batons to separate the warring groups. While no arrests were made at UCLA, Osako expressed disappointment over the violence, emphasizing the university’s commitment to respectful engagement and safety.

Elsewhere in the country, police were deployed to quell protests on various campuses. In Boston, officers detained approximately 100 people while dismantling a protest camp at Northeastern University. Social media posts showed law enforcement in riot gear clearing the area and removing tents.

Northeastern University stated that professional organizers, unrelated to the university, had infiltrated the student demonstration, prompting the security response. The university emphasized that detained individuals, upon producing valid student IDs, were released and would face disciplinary proceedings, not legal action.

Amid the protests, chants of “Kill the Jews” were reportedly heard at Northeastern, crossing a line of acceptability and prompting authorities to disband the unauthorized encampment.

The clashes at UCLA and other campuses underscore the deep divisions surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict within the US, with tensions erupting into violence despite efforts to maintain peace and respect differing viewpoints.

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