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Encampment continues to rely on food donations, on-campus restroom access on day 3

Protesters remain at the UC Divest at UCLA encampment as it enters its third day. The protesters are supplying themselves through community donations. (Aidan Sun/Daily Bruin)

By Alexandra Crosnoe and Patrick Woodham

April 27, 2024 4:07 p.m.

For the Daily Bruin’s full coverage of the UC Divest Coalition and Students for Justice in Palestine encampment, see here.

On day three of the pro-Palestine encampment at UCLA, protesters continue to rely on food donations and access to on-campus restrooms. 

Hundreds of students formed an encampment in Dickson Plaza on Thursday morning to call for the UC to divest from companies associated with the Israeli military and cut ties with LAPD in addition to a ceasefire in Israel’s destruction of the Gaza Strip.

The encampment has organized a plan to ensure protesters are provided with breakfast, lunch and dinner, said Marie Salem, a first-year health policy and management doctoral student who is a media liaison for UC Divest. She added that the encampment primarily receives food from students, faculty, alumni and outside organizations. 

“We have a whole group of people that care – students, faculty, outside orgs,” she said. “We have an immense amount of snacks and water.” 

Graeme Blair, an associate professor of political science and a member of the Faculty for Justice in Palestine at UCLA, said his role as a faculty member is to help support students and talk to them about what is happening in Gaza. 

Some protesters choose to leave the area to access food, but Salem said it has not been necessary with the amount of donations entering the encampment.

“We can go forever because our community supports us, and we’re going to be here for a long time,” she said. “We’re going to be here until they (the University) meet our demands.” 

Vincent Doehr, a third-year political science doctoral student, said protesters have been able to retain access to a steady food supply because of extensive planning, adding that organization for the encampment started in early April – before other campus encampments started. 

Due to a student having a severe banana allergy within the encampment, all food is vetted for bananas before entering the food supply, Salem said. On Friday, counter-protesters were seen waving bananas in the air after hearing about the student’s allergy. 

“Agitators were threatening to sexually assault a student with a banana after hearing that there’s a deadly banana allergy in the encampment,” he said. “The Zionists were told of this by the security and then waved bananas at us.” 

Protesters have been using surrounding campus buildings to use the restrooms, Salem said. A leader at the encampment made an announcement advising protesters to use the restroom in pairs for safety. However, since only student protesters have been allowed to enter Powell Library and Royce Hall, nonstudent protesters cannot use the bathrooms.

UCLA Media Relations declined to comment when asked if protesters would be allowed continued access to campus buildings and referred the Daily Bruin to a brief statement given Thursday morning by Mary Osako, the vice chancellor for strategic communications.

Doehr said students have been regularly attending classes, adding that he personally left the encampment on Friday to teach an undergraduate class. 

[Related: Faculty express support for ongoing solidarity encampment, academic freedom]

The encampment has access to power through a generator, which allows students to charge their phones and other devices, Salem said. In a speech given inside the encampment, a protester called on students to raise money for another generator. 

Blair added that the UC Board of Regents has a responsibility to let students peacefully protest and share their views.  

“The Regents of the University of California and leadership at UCLA and at UCLA and other UC campuses have a really central role to play in this important moment in history, which is to protect the students’ right to be out here to express views that they find objectionable,” he said. 

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Alexandra Crosnoe
Crosnoe is the 2024-2025 national news and higher education editor. She was previously a News reporter. Crosnoe is a second-year economics and public affairs student from Dallas.
Crosnoe is the 2024-2025 national news and higher education editor. She was previously a News reporter. Crosnoe is a second-year economics and public affairs student from Dallas.
Woodham is a News contributor on the features and student life beat and a Copy contributor. He is also a first-year African American studies and public affairs student from Brooklyn, New York.
Woodham is a News contributor on the features and student life beat and a Copy contributor. He is also a first-year African American studies and public affairs student from Brooklyn, New York.
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