UCLA Faculty Supporting Pro-Palestinian Students to Be Arrested, Says Professor

Violent clashes erupt at UCLA between pro-Palestinian students and Israel supporters, raising concerns over free speech and use of force against peaceful protesters.

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Nimrah Khatoon
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UCLA Faculty Support Pro-Palestinian Student Protesters Facing Arrests

UCLA Faculty Support Pro-Palestinian Student Protesters Facing Arrests

Violent clashes erupted on the UCLA campus between pro-Palestinian student protesters and counter-demonstrators supporting Israel. The pro-Palestinian protesters had set up an encampment on campus, asserting their rights to peaceful protest and free expression. However, the situation intensified when a group of pro-Israel counter-protesters tried to tear down the barricades and attack the encampment.

Associate Professor Graeme Blair from the University of California, Los Angeles, revealed on Thursday morning that faculty members supporting pro-Palestinian student protesters on campus are prepared to be arrested. Speaking around 1:30 a.m. PT, Blair stood alongside 15 faculty members in a line, affirming their solidarity with students' rights to peaceful protest.

Blair shared footage depicting police forming lines in front of the faculty and protesters at the Los Angeles campus. He emphasized their willingness to face arrest, stating, "because we want to send a message to UCLA ... that students definitely have a right to protest peacefully and to talk about their ideas." Professor Blair also criticized the university administration and law enforcement for their delayed response to the violence, stating, "The university administration and police did not act sooner to prevent violence from counter-protesters the previous night, which resulted in at least 15 protesters sustaining injuries."

Why this matters: The clashes at UCLA are part of a broader trend of protests and confrontations on college campuses across the United States, as students demonstrate against their universities' ties to Israel and companies supporting the war in Gaza. The incidents have raised concerns about the suppression of free speech and the use of force against peaceful protesters exercising their rights.

The situation at UCLA remains tense, with hundreds of police in riot gear gathering and warning the pro-Palestinian protesters to disperse or face arrest. Over 200 faculty members have signed a letter demanding that the police not be used against the peaceful student protesters and that no students be disciplined for exercising their right to free speech. The university leadership is under fire for its handling of the situation, with the governor deeming their slow response to the violence as unacceptable.

The protests at UCLA are part of a nationwide student movement calling for a ceasefire in Gaza and for universities to divest from Israeli companies and those that supply the Israeli military. Similar demonstrations have occurred at other universities, such as Columbia University in New York, where dozens of pro-Palestinian demonstrators were arrested. The UCLA faculty walkout and support for the student protesters underscore the growing tensions surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on American college campuses.

Key Takeaways

  • Violent clashes erupted at UCLA between pro-Palestinian and pro-Israel protesters.
  • Pro-Palestinian protesters were attacked by counter-protesters, leading to 15 injuries.
  • UCLA faculty criticized the university's delayed response to the violence.
  • Protests at UCLA are part of a nationwide student movement against Israeli policies.
  • Similar protests have occurred at other US universities, leading to arrests.