How Counterprotesters at U.C.L.A. Provoked Violence, Unchecked for Hours


On Tuesday night, there was a lot of violence at a place where pro-Palestinian protesters had set up a camp since April 25th. The violence started when some people tried to break down the barriers around the camp. The pro-Palestinian protesters tried to rebuild the barricades, and that’s when the violence began.

Police didn’t come right away to stop the violence. For almost five hours, there was fighting between the two groups, and the police didn’t do much to stop it. The violence mostly started because some people who were against the pro-Palestinian protest tried to attack those who were supporting it.

Videos from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) show what happened that night. People in the videos can be seen attacking each other, using sticks, spraying chemicals, and even shooting fireworks at each other. But even with all this violence, no one was arrested.

The fighting started when a group of people tried to remove metal barriers that were put up around the pro-Palestinian camp. The university had said earlier that the camp was not allowed, so they sent security guards to watch, but they didn’t do much to stop the violence.

It’s not clear why the other group, who were against the pro-Palestinian protesters, started the violence. Many of them were wearing clothes with slogans supporting Israel. They played music and even sang songs in Hebrew during the fighting.

The violence went on for almost three hours before the police finally came. During this time, the group against the pro-Palestinian protesters shot fireworks at them and sprayed chemicals. They also attacked them with sticks and other things they found.

Some videos show the pro-Palestinian protesters trying to defend themselves, but they mostly stayed behind the barricades. They didn’t seem to start any fights themselves.

Even when the police finally arrived, they didn’t do much to stop the violence right away. They stood back and watched for about an hour before they started to move in and try to stop it.

Finally, after almost five hours of fighting, the police started to break up the crowd, and the violence stopped. But by then, many people had been hurt, and the situation was very tense.

Afterward, UCLA’s chancellor said that the people who started the violence were wrong, and the police should have done more to stop it. The California governor’s office also criticized the police for not acting sooner.

In the end, about 200 people were arrested, and 15 people were injured. The pro-Palestinian camp was taken down, and the situation calmed down. But the violence showed how tense things can get when people have different opinions about important issues.


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