Cal State LA pro-Palestine protest causes tens of thousands in damage to campus building

A pro-Palestinian protest continues at Cal State University, Los Angeles Thursday, the day after demonstrators took over a building on campus Wednesday night.

Almost 60 university staff members, including President Dr. Berenecea Johnson Eans, were inside the student services building at the time. All staff members were able to get out safely, while police allowed all protesters to leave without making any arrests.

"Our biggest concern was for the 58 staff members," said Erik Frost Hollins, Executive Director of Strategic Communications at Cal State LA. "We got them out of the building, those who remained were safe and secure."

Protesters used tables and chairs as barricades Wednesday night and flipped over campus vehicles. Video from inside the building shows windows busted, graffiti on walls and furniture, likely tens of thousands of dollars in damage.

"We believe lives are more important than property," said one protester Wednesday night. "Especially when our money goes to this school, this is essentially our university, but we’re not treated that way."

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LA Mayor Karen Bass spoke with FOX 11 Thursday about the protest.

"Everybody has a right to express themselves, but where you draw the line is the destruction and defacing of property," said Bass. "I’m concerned as to how much money now the Cal State system is going to have to spend to correct the damage that was done."

The pro-Palestinian camp-in demonstration has been taking place at Cal State LA for more than a month. Protesters say they’re not going to leave campus until their demands are met, including their desire for the university to divest funds going to Israel.

University administrators have been unable to say if and when they’ll shutdown the protest, or reach an agreement with demonstrators.

"It’s been like this every day," said Angelina Escobar, a student. "What they’re doing is for a good cause. I just feel like there’s a limit where there has to be a breaking point."