A firework reportedly thrown by pro-Israel supporters explodes close to the student encampment

Chaos at UCLA as ‘horrific acts of violence’ break out between pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel activists with ‘all-out brawls’ and fireworks hurled into crowds hours after cops cleared protesters from Columbia University in dramatic raid

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Chaos ensued deep into the night on campus at UCLA as pro and anti-Israel protesters clashed in scenes of ‘horrific acts of violence’ that devolved into ‘all-out brawls’ which also saw a firework thrown into a crowd of people. 

This mayhem mirrored scenes seen at college campuses across the country, including at Columbia University in New York City, where after activists ignored pleas to dismantle their camps, the police were forced to move in and arrest students. 

The violence at UCLA began when a group of pro-Israel activists showed up on campus with the intention of removing the anti-Israel and pro Palestine camp, reports KTLA.  

The channel said that the pro-Israel side threw a firework at the protesters and deployed ‘what may have been bear spray.’ 

Local media broadcasts showed the protesters cowering, covering themselves with umbrellas from the spray. So far, at least one person was taken away by an ambulance for treatment. 

At around 12:30am, after hours of confrontations and violence, Mayor Karen Bass confirmed that the LAPD had been called in. Reports from the UCLA student newspaper, the Daily Bruin, have revealed the cops are still present at the scene.

A firework reportedly thrown by pro-Israel supporters explodes close to the student encampment

A firework reportedly thrown by pro-Israel supporters explodes close to the student encampment

The chaos is shown on Tuesday night on campus in UCLA

The chaos is shown on Tuesday night on campus in UCLA 

Pro-Israel supporters attempting to dismantle a Pro-Palestine encampment

Pro-Israel supporters attempting to dismantle a Pro-Palestine encampment 

A pro-Palestinian demonstrator (C) is beaten by counter protesters

A pro-Palestinian demonstrator (C) is beaten by counter protesters

Counter-protesters stand near an encampment of protesters in support of Palestinians in Gaza on the campus of the University of California

Counter-protesters stand near an encampment of protesters in support of Palestinians in Gaza on the campus of the University of California

At around 12:30am, after hours of confrontations and violence, Mayor Karen Bass confirmed that the LAPD had been called in

At around 12:30am, after hours of confrontations and violence, Mayor Karen Bass confirmed that the LAPD had been called in

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators engulfed in tear gas regroup and rebuild the barricade surrounding the encampment set up on the campus of UCLA

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators engulfed in tear gas regroup and rebuild the barricade surrounding the encampment set up on the campus of UCLA

Counter protester attack a pro-Palestinian encampment set up on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles

Counter protester attack a pro-Palestinian encampment set up on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles

One person on campus who is not a student but is providing aid to protesters, John Fenoglio, told KTLA that he believes in the protesters calls for for UCLA to divest from Israel. 

‘When you’ve had genocide carry on for this long, people are just not going to be able to live side by side with two governments in the way that it’s been suggested and I think that a free Palestine is the only way forward,’ he said. 

Helmeted riot police were pictured arriving on the UCLA campus in their protective gear as they tore down barriers and attempted to enter the pro-Palestinian encampment.

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators were then engulfed in tear gas as they tried to regroup and rebuild their barricade.

Around 100 pro-Israel counter-protesters attempted to seize the barricade and stormed the ongoing Palestine solidarity encampment in Dickson Plaza, reports the Daily Bruin.

It also shared in an Twitter/X update that: ‘As police stand watching the demonstrations and skirmishes between protesters, more and more officers are filing behind them, some wearing has masks. A few officers are standing near Haines Hall.

The account added: ‘Police on scene remain at a standstill watching a chaotic scene at Dickson Plaza. “Resistance is justified when Palestine is occupied!” shout protesters through a megaphone.

The newspaper reported that some counter demonstrators chanted ‘USA, USA!’ as they followed police to the encampment site. 

 The Los Angeles Police Department said on Twitter/X that it was responding at the university’s request due to ‘multiple acts of violence’ within the large protest encampment.

In an email sent by the vice chancellor of strategic communications at the school, Mary Osako reportedly wrote: ‘Horrific acts of violence occurred at the encampment tonight.

‘The fire department and medical personnel are on the scene. We are sickened by this senseless violence and it must end’.

Following the hours of violence, a university professor and former police officer hit out at the ‘inexplicable delay’ in officers appearing on the the scene at UCLA.

Counter-protesters try to remove barricades at the pro-Palestinian encampment on the University of California, Los Angeles

Counter-protesters try to remove barricades at the pro-Palestinian encampment on the University of California, Los Angeles

The UCLA student newspaper, the Daily Bruin, reported that some counter demonstrators chanted 'USA, USA!' as they followed police to the encampment site.

The UCLA student newspaper, the Daily Bruin, reported that some counter demonstrators chanted ‘USA, USA!’ as they followed police to the encampment site.

Protesters in support of Palestinians in Gaza help one another get their eyes rinsed

Protesters in support of Palestinians in Gaza help one another get their eyes rinsed

A counter-protester reacts amidst clashes with protesters in support of Palestinians in Gaza at an encampment on the campus of the University of California Los Angeles

A counter-protester reacts amidst clashes with protesters in support of Palestinians in Gaza at an encampment on the campus of the University of California Los Angeles

Pro-Palestinian protesters barricade themselves at a handmade encampment

Pro-Palestinian protesters barricade themselves at a handmade encampment

The Los Angeles Police Department said on Twitter/X that it was responding at the university's request due to 'multiple acts of violence' within the large protest encampment

The Los Angeles Police Department said on Twitter/X that it was responding at the university’s request due to ‘multiple acts of violence’ within the large protest encampment

‘What we have here has been an ongoing riot for hours,’ Brian Levin, professor emeritus at California State University, and founder of the Centre for the Study of Hate and Extremism, told Sky News. 

‘It’s gone on so long that a local columnist said ‘even the helicopters had to refuel’. So there’s been an inexplicable delay with regard to law enforcement getting onto the scene in any meaningful way.’

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He added: ‘There were probably a couple of hundred counter-protesters that lobbed fireworks, as well as apparently bear spray, at folks in the encampment on the pro-Palestinian side. Then both sides went after each other’.

Protests have also broken out at the University of Arizona, with reports stating a protester was hit in the head with a rubber bullet as police arrested four.

They also deployed ‘non-lethal’ chemical munitions within the university grounds in a bit to break up the violence. 

A statement from the university read: ‘University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins has directed University officials and the University of Arizona Police Department, to immediately enforce campus use policies and all corresponding laws without further warning. 

‘The UAPD is supported by members of the Tucson Police Department, Pima County Sheriff’s Office and the state’s Department of Public Safety. 

‘The University will continue to act in the best interests of our students, faculty and staff to ensure their safety.’

The Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel by Hamas militants from Gaza, and the ensuing Israeli offensive on the Palestinian enclave, have unleashed the biggest outpouring of U.S. student activism since the anti-racism protests of 2020. 

A the nearby University of Southern California, school president Carol Folt confirmed that a swastika was found drawn on campus on Tuesday. 

‘I condemn any anti-Semitic symbols or other forms of hate speech as deplorable. Clearly it was drawn there right now just to incite even more anger at a time that is so painful for our community,’ she said in a brief statement.  

The Chancellor at the University of California in Los Angeles said late Tuesday that law enforcement was engaged to investigate ‘recent acts of violence’ by a group of demonstrators and increased security in the area.

‘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,’ Chancellor Gene Block. 

Block also indicated that disciplinary processes cold be underway involving some students who are involved. 

A person stands as counter-protesters clash with protesters in support of Palestinians in Gaza at an encampment on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles

A person stands as counter-protesters clash with protesters in support of Palestinians in Gaza at an encampment on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles

Police and counter-protesters are seen tearing down the barricades

Police and counter-protesters are seen tearing down the barricades 

Protesters in support of Palestinians in Gaza stand inside an encampment

Protesters in support of Palestinians in Gaza stand inside an encampment

Following the hours of violence, a university professor and former police officer hit out at the 'inexplicable delay' in officers appearing on the the scene at UCLA

Following the hours of violence, a university professor and former police officer hit out at the ‘inexplicable delay’ in officers appearing on the the scene at UCLA

The violent scenes in UCLA mirrored those seen 3,000 miles away earlier in the night when the NYPD swooped and arrested student activists protesting the war in Gaza

The violent scenes in UCLA mirrored those seen 3,000 miles away earlier in the night when the NYPD swooped and arrested student activists protesting the war in Gaza 

Pro and anti-Israel supporters are shown clashing on the campus earlier on Tuesday

Pro and anti-Israel supporters are shown clashing on the campus earlier on Tuesday 

One report accused the pro-Israel supporters of using firework and possibly bear spray to disperse the crowd

One report accused the pro-Israel supporters of using firework and possibly bear spray to disperse the crowd

The Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel by Hamas militants from Gaza, and the ensuing Israeli offensive on the Palestinian enclave, have unleashed the biggest outpouring of U.S. student activism since the anti-racism protests of 2020

The Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel by Hamas militants from Gaza, and the ensuing Israeli offensive on the Palestinian enclave, have unleashed the biggest outpouring of U.S. student activism since the anti-racism protests of 2020

The school’s graduation events are set to take place between May 8 and May 11. 

During those events, there will be a clear bag policy in place. 

California Governor Gavin Newsom has only addressed the growing protests on campuses across the Golden State in a brief comment on Tuesday when he told an enquiring reporter: ‘We want to maintain the right to protest without any hate,’ he said. 

Avoiding speaking about the protests is likely solely a political move. 

‘If I were a Democratic party politician, I’d want to stay as far away from this as possible. If they support the students, there could be a demonstration with anti-Semitic references,’ Professor Jack Pitney for Claremont McKenna College told NBC Los Angeles. 

‘If they support a removal of them from campus, it could result in over policing and be a very bad image,’ he added.  

Many of the demonstrations across the country have been met with counter-protesters accusing them of fomenting anti-Jewish hatred. 

The pro-Palestinian side, including Jews opposed to Israeli actions in Gaza, say they are being unfairly branded as anti-Semitic for criticizing Israel’s government and expressing support for human rights.

Earlier on Tuesday, New York City police arrested dozens of pro-Palestinian demonstrators holed-up in an academic building on Columbia University campus late on Tuesday and removed a protest encampment the Ivy League school had sought to dismantle for nearly two weeks.

Shortly after police moved in, Columbia University President Minouche Shafik released a letter in which she requested police stay on campus until at least May 17 – two days after graduation – ‘to maintain order and ensure that encampments are not re-established.’ 

Columbia University protesters smashed windows, upended furniture and caused damage throughout Hamilton Hall amid their brief occupation

Columbia University protesters smashed windows, upended furniture and caused damage throughout Hamilton Hall amid their brief occupation

Images and video showed extensive damage to Hamilton Hall after protesters were evicted on Tuesday night

Images and video showed extensive damage to Hamilton Hall after protesters were evicted on Tuesday night

 Within three hours the campus had been cleared of protesters, said a police spokesperson, adding ‘dozens’ of arrests were made.

At the start of the police operation around 9 p.m. ET throngs of helmeted police marched onto the elite campus in upper Manhattan, a focal point of student rallies that have spread to dozens of schools across the U.S. in recent days expressing opposition to Israel’s war in Gaza. 

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‘We’re clearing it out,’ the police officers yelled.

Soon after, a long line of officers climbed into Hamilton Hall, an academic building that protesters had broken into and occupied in the early morning hours of Tuesday. Police entered through a second-story window, using a police vehicle equipped with a ladder.

Students standing outside the hall jeered police with shouts of ‘Shame, shame!’

Police were seen loading dozens of detainees onto a bus, each with their hands bound behind their backs by zip-ties, the entire scene illuminated with flashing red and blue lights of police vehicles. 

‘Free, free, free Palestine,’ chanted protesters outside the building. Others yelled ‘Let the students go.’

‘Columbia will be proud of these students in five years,’ said Sueda Polat, one of the student negotiators for Columbia University Apartheid Divest, the coalition of student groups that has organized the protests.

NYPD riot cops released dramatic video showing the moment they stormed Columbia University's occupied Hamilton Hall

NYPD riot cops released dramatic video showing the moment they stormed Columbia University’s occupied Hamilton Hall

Images taken after the raid show the hall's trashed with activists' belongings

Images taken after the raid show the hall’s trashed with activists’ belongings

 She said students did not pose a danger and called on police to back down, speaking as officers shouted at her and others to retreat or leave campus. 

Protesters were seeking three demands from Columbia: divestment from companies supporting Israel’s government, greater transparency in university finances, and amnesty for students and faculty disciplined over the protests.

President Shafik this week said Columbia would not divest from finances in Israel. Instead, she offered to invest in health and education in Gaza and make Columbia’s direct investment holdings more transparent.

In her letter released on Tuesday, Shafik said the Hamilton Hall occupiers had vandalized University property and were trespassing, and that encampment protesters were suspended for trespassing. 

The university earlier warned that students taking part in the Hamilton Hall occupation faced academic expulsion. 

The occupation began overnight when protesters broke windows, stormed inside and unfurled a banner reading ‘Hind’s Hall,’ saying they were renaming the building for a 6-year-old Palestinian child killed in Gaza by the Israeli military.

The eight-story, neo-classical building has been the site of various student occupations dating back to the 1960s.

Damage to the historic Hamilton Hall is estimate to total thousands of dollars following its short-lived occupation

Damage to the historic Hamilton Hall is estimate to total thousands of dollars following its short-lived occupation

Video from the college showed hundreds of cops in riot gear and armed with zip-tie handcuffs and pepper spray surrounding the campus

Video from the college showed hundreds of cops in riot gear and armed with zip-tie handcuffs and pepper spray surrounding the campus

 At an evening news briefing held a few hours before police entered Columbia, Mayor Eric Adams and city police officials said the Hamilton Hall takeover was instigated by ‘outside agitators’ who lack any affiliation with Columbia and are known to law enforcement for provoking lawlessness.

Police said they based their conclusions in part on escalating tactics in the occupation, including vandalism, use of barricades to block entrances and destruction of security cameras.

One of the student leaders of the protest, Mahmoud Khalil, a Palestinian scholar attending Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, disputed assertions that outsiders led the occupation.

‘Disruptions on campus have created a threatening environment for many of our Jewish students and faculty and a noisy distraction that interferes with the teaching, learning and preparing for final exams,’ the university said in a statement on Tuesday before police moved in. 

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators also gathered at City College New York in Harlem late Tuesday, with the university ordering individuals off the campus, New York Police Department Deputy Commissioner Kaz Daughtry said in an X post. Dozens of protesters were arrested, the New York Times reported.

Daughtry also said the university had requested police presence to assist in dispersing trespassers. 

The issue has taken on political overtones in the run-up to the U.S. presidential election in November, with Republicans accusing some university administrators of turning a blind eye to anti-Semitic rhetoric and harassment.

White House spokesperson John Kirby on Tuesday called the occupation of campus buildings ‘the wrong approach.’

New York Police Department officials had stressed before Tuesday night’s sweep that officers would refrain from entering the campus unless Columbia administrators invited their presence, as they did on April 18, when NYPD officers removed an earlier encampment. 

More than 100 arrests were made at that time, stirring an outcry by many students and staff.

Dozens of tents, pitched on a hedge-lined grassy area – beside a smaller lawn since planted with hundreds of small Israeli flags – were put back up days later.



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