UCSD Gaza camp activists block police bus from carting off arrested protesters

May 6, 2024 | Political News

Law enforcement moved in to the Gaza camp at UCSD in San Diego, California on Monday and cleared the camp set up by university activists. Dozens were arrested as the encampment was declared to be unlawful and officers removed tents and hauled off protesters.

Campus police and UCSD officials said that 64 persons were arrested. Of those, 40 were reportedly students while 24 “were unaffiliated” or had an “unknown” status, per local news.

As a police bus full of those who had been arrested attempted to drive off, protesters stood in the way of the vehicle, chanting “let them go.” The Gaza camp was up for six days.

When police marched those who had been arrested to the buses, activists attempted to block their way. They chanted “free Palestine” until they switched to chanting “let them go.”

Police increased their presence on campus in the early hours of Monday morning, announcing to agitators that they were risking arrest by remaining camped out on the campus grounds or by not removing themselves in a non-violent way.

By and large, protesters refused to leave their tents and camps and stood by as officers dismantled the encampment on the university's Library Walk. The students who were arrested faced suspension.

Many of the Gaza protests at universities across the country have been more about the protests themselves than about the actions undertaken by Israel during their war against the Palestinian terror group Hamas. As students list their demands at Princeton, for example, where they have been staging a hunger strike, much of what they want has to do with not being penalized for their protest. They also ask for the university to divest from Israel.

Similar asks were made by Columbia University protesters, who asked for their actions to be overlooked by administrators. They also asked school officials to allow them to get GrubHub food delivery to the administration building they occupied on campus, claiming that school officials were trying to allow “students to die of dehydration and starvation.” That building was later cleared by NYPD officers.

“At approximately 6 am today, University of California Police, CHP and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department successfully and peacefully dismantled an illegal encampment on the UC San Diego campus,” said UCSD officials. “The decision to vacate the site was based on danger arising from a prolonged event in terms of health, fire, safety and security. One minor injury was reported. No official number of arrests is available at this time. The campus is still an active police operation.”

“UC San Diego's West Campus operations are suspended from North Torrey Pines Road to Interstate 5 due to police activity,” they went on to say. “Avoid the area. Non-essential employees should move to remote operations; essential employees should report to work as usual. Instruction is moving to remote operation. All West Campus facilities are closed. Housing and Dining remains open. All events scheduled for today on West Campus should be canceled, rescheduled or moved to remote operation. UC San Diego Health remains fully operational.”