Mobilization in support of Gaza | Clashes on a Los Angeles campus

(Los Angeles) Clashes broke out overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday on the sidelines of a student rally denouncing Israel’s war in Gaza at UCLA University in Los Angeles, the latest episode in a student movement that is shaking up UNITED STATES.

The clashes broke out when a large group of counter-protesters, many of them masked, attacked a pro-Palestinian encampment set up on a UCLA lawn, according to an AFP photographer on site.

The attackers attempted to break through an improvised barricade around the encampment, made up of metal barriers and plywood panels. Demonstrators and counter-protesters then clashed with sticks and threw projectiles at each other.

“The ongoing violence at UCLA is absolutely despicable and inexcusable,” lambasted Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, adding that city police were deployed on campus.

The latter indicated that she had been called for reinforcement by management after “numerous acts of violence committed in the camp inside the campus”.

Early Wednesday, the police were still present in large numbers on the university site.

A few hours earlier, the New York police had dislodged pro-Palestinian demonstrators barricaded in a building at Columbia University, intervening manu militari on the American campus where the pro-Palestinian student mobilization started.

The tent camp set up on the site’s lawn was dismantled, an AFP journalist noted during the night from Tuesday to Wednesday.

Around 300 people were arrested, New York police said.

In the southwest of the country, the University of Arizona police announced Wednesday morning that they had used tear gas to disperse “an illegal assembly.”

In North Carolina, on the east coast, police intervened Tuesday to evacuate an encampment on a Chapel Hill campus, arresting several demonstrators in a tense face-to-face confrontation.


For two weeks, mobilizations in support of Gaza have multiplied across American campuses, from California to major universities in the northeast, including the south and center of the country – reminiscent of demonstrations against the Vietnam War.

Students call on establishments to cut ties with patrons or companies linked to Israel, and denounce Washington’s support for its Israeli ally.

Distinguishing itself from other institutions, Brown University in the state of Rhode Island announced Tuesday that it had reached an agreement with the demonstrators, providing for the dismantling of their encampment in exchange for a vote by the university in October on possible “divestments in “companies that enable and profit from the genocide in Gaza””.

At Columbia, negotiations between management and student groups were unsuccessful. “Last night’s events on campus gave us no choice,” wrote university president Minouche Shafik in a public letter asking the New York police to intervene on campus.

In Los Angeles, UCLA President Gene Block had warned before the night’s clashes against the presence of people from outside the university.

On Sunday, pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli activists, supported by numerous demonstrators from outside the campus, came to blows, with shoving and insults.

“Many protesters and counter-protesters practice their activism peacefully. But others use methods that are frankly shocking and shameful,” Mr. Block wrote in a message posted Tuesday on the university’s website.

“These incidents have caused, especially among our Jewish students, deep anxiety and fear,” he added.

6 months before the presidential election

Since the start of the movement, hundreds of people – students, teachers and activists – have been questioned, sometimes arrested and prosecuted in several universities across the country.

Images of riot police intervening on campuses, at the request of universities, have gone around the world and are causing a strong reaction from the political world, six months before the presidential election in a polarized country.

Joe Biden “must do something” against these “paid agitators,” Republican candidate Donald Trump said Tuesday evening on Fox News. “We must put an end to the anti-Semitism that plagues our country today,” he added.

“Forcibly occupying a university building is the wrong approach” and does not represent “an example of peaceful demonstration,” John Kirby, spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, thundered before the police intervention. .


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