Anti-police Gaza protesters complain cops are not on their ‘side,’ put UCLA provost through struggle session

May 3, 2024 | Political News

UCLA's provost, Darnell Hunt, sat on the ground in a circle while Gaza camp protesters put him through a struggle session. 

A student spoke into a mic, her head bouncing back and forth, telling the provost that “Every single media outlet in the entire United States of America, including around the world, is looking at you right now, there are cameras everywhere watching the way you are responding to us, that is our leverage, okay?”

The crowd of protesters in keffiyehs, wearing medical-style face masks, cheered.

“You have come here to bargain, however, we cannot bargain with you in good faith,” she told Hunt, who had come to the camp and sat among them to negotiate with them to disperse. “You have not genuinely tried to protect our safety rights.”

She went on to read to him “something that the Zionists were saying yesterday on the livestream. The cops arrived, they showed up maybe four hours after the brutality had already begun, and the Zionists on the megaphone started saying ‘none of us on this side ever want to defund the police. All of us love you and all of us respect you. We support the police,'” she said, allegedly quoting the counter-protesters with whom Gaza protesters physically fought on Tuesday night.

“The police are on their side,” she said, “they know that.”

The group of Gaza camp students had delivered a press conference claiming that police didn't do enough to protect them. Among their protest demands is to “abolish policing.”

She complained to the provost that “when the police show up” they are not on the side of the Gaza camp protesters, who, as it turns out, are actively trying to abolish their livelihoods. She complained that they did not have the attention of first responders.

The provost took the mic, telling her that the school “called 911 immediately” when they saw the violence between the two groups of protesters unfolding on Tuesday night. 

Another student took the mic, saying the school “made the situation more dangerous.” The provost pushed back against the protestors' claims that EMS and officers were not attentive to their needs.

After Hunt had finished what he had to say, he began to rise to go. The crowd didn't like it, wanting him to continue to sit there and listen to their complaints. “You should be here at 6,” they told him.

As he walked out of the encampment, having made no progress with the students, they yelled “Shame!” Hunt and his associate continued to leave, passing Palestinian flags.

Some chased him, saying “you think it's dangerous? Is that why you're leaving? You're a f*cking coward!”

They said, “they're going to brutalize us tonight.”

“Shame, shame, shame on you, you have blood on your hands too!” They called after him.

That night, police came in and cleared the camp.