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Videos: Violent clashes erupt between protesters at major university

A demonstrator carrying the Palestinian flag rides a horse named Midnight in front of a protest march in support of Palestine near the Memorial Auditorium in downtown Sacramento. (Paul Kitagaki Jr./The Sacramento Bee/TNS)
May 01, 2024

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) was called to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) early Wednesday morning after violence erupted on campus between pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel protesters.

According to The Post Millennial, police officers responded Wednesday morning after hours or fights between pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel protesters. Video of the violence shows protesters hitting each other with sticks, using barricades as weapons, and launching fireworks at one another.

Anthony Cabassa, an independent journalist, posted numerous videos of the violence on X, formerly Twitter. “Private Security and protestors have been maced, and security has left the encampment,” Cabassa tweeted. “The barriers between Pro Israel and Pro Palestine protestors has been destroyed, multiple explosions, fights breaking out.”

According to The Washington Post, LAPD officials said they witnessed “multiple acts of violence within the large encampment” at UCLA. The pro-Palestinian protesters claimed that the pro-Israel counter-protesters engaged in an “act of terror” on Wednesday morning by threatening their encampment on campus. Some students claimed that law enforcement officials merely stood by and watched as the violence unfolded throughout the night and morning.

Cabassa reported that pro-Palestinian protesters engaged in “self defense training” after the university declared the pro-Palestinian encampment “unlawful” on Tuesday. Drone footage of the self-defense training was shared by Cabassa, who said the training included “hand to hand combat” instruction.

Hours after the training, Cabassa said counter-protesters approached the pro-Palestinian encampment and blasted loud music. As a result, campus security officials were deployed to separate the two protest groups; however, the independent journalist explained that private security guards left the encampment after being maced.

READ MORE: Video: Pro-Palestinian protesters block major airport

As the security presence decreased, Cabassa reported that multiple fights started between the pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel protesters. “Armed men now fighting and launching items at each other from either side of the encampment,” he said. “Total chaos, there’s ZERO police presence.”

When LAPD officers were later deployed to the campus, Cabassa said the law enforcement officials were met by “USA” chants from pro-Israel protesters, while pro-Palestinian protesters chanted, “Pigs go home.”

Cabassa reported that police officials had “taken control of the area” by 4 a.m. While he noted that the protest encampment remained on campus, law enforcement officials had successfully ensured that “both groups of protesters no longer have access to each other.”

In a post on X, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass addressed the violence that occurred at UCLA, saying, “The violence unfolding this evening at UCLA is absolutely abhorrent and inexcusable.”