UCLA cancels Wednesday classes over student ‘distress’ caused by violent Gaza Camp clashes

May 1, 2024 | Political News

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) canceled classes on Wednesday after violent clashes occurred overnight between Gaza camp protesters and counter-protesters supporting Israel.

“Due to the distress caused by the violence that took place on Royce Quad late last night and early this morning, all classes are cancelled today. Please avoid the Royce Quad area,” wrote UCLA in a statement.


 

The announcement came after violent clashes broke out at the campus overnight between the Gaza camp protesters and counter-protesters supporting Israel, with the fights continuing for hours as people hit each other with sticks and used barricades as weapons. 

Counter-protesters played the national anthem over loudspeakers, holding signs that said “Hamas & supporters are not welcome on native land.” 

Video footage captured by independent journalist Anthony Cabassa showed the dueling groups grappling, macing, and charging at each other while brandishing makeshift weapons. Fireworks were also reportedly launched.

Fox 11 reports that campus police requested help from LAPD around 11:45 pm, however, the law enforcement agency did not intervene until roughly 1:47 am.

The two groups were finally separated by LAPD riot police around 3:20 am, according to Cabassa.

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block issued a statement and said: “If you feel you are in danger, contact UCPD.”

Additionally, California Gov. Gavin Newsom's Office issued a post on X, stating, “Our office is closely monitoring the situation at UCLA.”

The UCLA campus has been the site of violence since anti-Israel activists established an unsanctioned Gaza autonomous zone on the Royce Quad last week.

Since the encampment was formed, Jewish students and community members have been the targets of violence and discrimination. Gaza activists have prohibited multiple Jewish students from entering campus, and both a Jewish woman and man were savagely beaten in unprovoked attacks on campus.