UCLA cancels classes due to violent clashes between protestors

UCLA has decided to cancel classes on Wednesday following a violent clash that occurred between opposing protestors in response to the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza.

Pro-Israel and pro-Palestine protestors engaged in intense confrontations that lasted for several hours before the police finally intervened. They stood by, observing the clashes, until they eventually managed to separate the two opposing groups.

Independent journalist Anthony Cabassa, who witnessed the confrontation, expressed concern about the lack of law enforcement presence during the four-hour long clash between two opposing groups. Cabassa documented the incident and described it as a scene of complete chaos, with numerous individuals being beaten, assaulted, and pepper-sprayed. He emphasized that innocent bystanders were also caught in the crossfire.

Earlier that day, Cabassa captured a drone video showcasing pro-Palestine activists undergoing hand-to-hand combat training in anticipation of an anticipated outbreak of violence later that night. Subsequent footage of the violent incident reveals protestors engaging in physical altercations, utilizing pepper spray, boards, and their fists, while security personnel, allegedly instructed to refrain from intervening by the UCLA administration, remained nearby.

Violence seemed to subside when one person was struck by another using a metal baton. In a remarkable display, the injured man was promptly escorted to safety, indicating a sense of responsibility even amidst the chaos. Additional videos captured moments where protestors intervened and pulled individuals away from escalating fights. These incidents imply that despite their passionate and physical demonstrations, both sides made conscious efforts to avoid actions that might lead to severe criminal charges.

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California Governor Gavin Newsom expressed his thoughts on the violence, emphasizing that the right to free speech does not include inciting violence, vandalism, or lawlessness on campus. He emphasized the importance of holding those who engage in illegal behavior accountable for their actions, which may involve criminal prosecution, suspension, or expulsion.

The protestors demanded that UCLA divest from businesses in Israel, a move that the UC system openly opposes.

The following day, the California Federation of Teachers demanded the removal of UCLA Chancellor Gene Bock due to allegations of violence against the “peaceful student solidarity encampment” and for reportedly permitting police to stand idle while counter-protestors allegedly assaulted students.

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