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IN THE NEWS:

SJP and UC Divest Coalition Demonstrations at UCLAUCLA chancellor appointment

Pro-Palestine protesters set up encampment on Kerckhoff patio

Protesters set up an encampment in solidarity with Palestine on Thursday morning on Kerckhoff patio. (Felicia Keller/Daily Bruin senior staff)

By Dylan Winward and Sharla Steinman

May 23, 2024 9:26 a.m.

This post was updated May 24 at 2:07 a.m.

This is a developing story and will be updated with more information.

Protesters set up an encampment on Kerckhoff patio Thursday morning.

Students for Justice in Palestine at UCLA said in an Instagram story that the protest was a “second encampment” and called for immediate student support. Protesters set up umbrellas facing Bruin Walk, a sign referencing the UC’s investment portfolio and a Palestinian flag.

“We have set up a second encampment at Kerckhoff patio,” SJP at UCLA said in the Instagram story. “We need support in numbers asap.”

Private security hired by the university restricted access to the patio, Kerckhoff Hall – where the Daily Bruin office and offices for the Undergraduate Students Association Council are located – and Moore Hall, including to Daily Bruin reporters. A UCPD officer told a Daily Bruin reporter that removing access to Kerckhoff Hall was a university order, not an order from the police department.

Associate Vice Chancellor Rick Braziel of the newly formed Office of Campus Safety did not respond in time to requests for comment.

The encampment comes as Chancellor Gene Block testified before the House Education and the Workforce Committee in Washington, D.C., on Thursday morning.

“We’re aware of demonstration activity on the Kerckhoff patio,” said Associate Vice Chancellor for Strategic Communication Mary Osako in an emailed statement. “Our safety personnel are on site and actively monitoring the situation.”

Eli, a media liaison for the encampment who did not provide his last name, said the action was partially in response to Block’s testimony before the House Education and the Workforce Committee. He added that, as a Jewish student, he believes neither the current encampment nor the now-dismantled Palestine solidarity encampment in Dickson Plaza is antisemitic.

“This is just a continuation of the same actions that have been performed on campus before, and so the demands still remain the exact same as they were before,” said Eli, a fourth-year mathematics student.

Marie Salem, a media liaison for the UC Divest Coalition at UCLA, said the hearings were a mischaracterization of the encampment’s goals.

“Chancellor Block is in a congressional hearing right now that is really, actually, detracting away from what’s happening in Gaza and is a very systematic way to also intimidate us as protesters and pro-Palestinian voices,” said Salem, who is also a health policy and management doctoral student. “It’s also a way to intimidate anyone across the campuses or across the world for standing up for Palestine right now.”

Protesters are pictured holding signs that say “UAW rank and file workers for Palestine” outside the barricaded encampment on the patio. (Aidan Sun/Daily Bruin)

Salem added that protesters will remain until negotiations with UCLA administration begin and their demands are met. She added that she wants the protest to center what she referred to as genocide in the Gaza Strip.

Hannah Appel, an associate professor of anthropology, said when she tried to provide students and faculty within the encampment with groceries, security denied her access to do so. She added that police and Student Affairs staff also refused to carry the groceries to those inside.

Appel, who is also the associate director of the Luskin Institute on Inequality and Democracy, also said she does not view the encampment as an unlawful assembly, and believes protesters should be allowed access to food.

“Even people engaged in an ostensibly unlawful assembly have the right to food and water,” she said. “And they’re (police and Student Affairs are) not letting it in.”

Contributing reports by Alexandra Crosnoe, Gabrielle Gillette, Nicolas Greamo, Felicia Keller, Sam Mulick, Shiv Patel, Mia Tavares and Patrick Woodham, Daily Bruin staff.

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Dylan Winward | News editor
Winward is the 2023-2024 features and student life editor. He was previously a News reporter for campus politics and features and student life. He is also a second-year English literature and statistics student.
Winward is the 2023-2024 features and student life editor. He was previously a News reporter for campus politics and features and student life. He is also a second-year English literature and statistics student.
Sharla Steinman | City and Crime Editor
Steinman is the 2023-2024 city and crime editor. She was previously a city and crime contributor. She is also a fourth-year political science student.
Steinman is the 2023-2024 city and crime editor. She was previously a city and crime contributor. She is also a fourth-year political science student.
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