UCLA cancels classes after night of violence at pro-Palestinian encampment

After a night of violence at UCLA's pro-Palestinian encampment that carried on well into the early morning hours, university officials canceled all classes Wednesday.

University officials released the following statement on social media:

"Due to the distress caused by the violence that took place on Royce Quad late last night and early this morning, all classes are canceled today. Please avoid the Royce Quad area."

Multiple agencies remained on the campus, which took a turn of events. FOX 11 ground crews remained at the scene overnight as it escalated in Westwood around 11 p.m. Crews witnessed fights break out for nearly two hours before the presence of any law enforcement. After an estimated two hours, the Los Angeles Police Department arrived in riot gear.

UCLA officials said all campus operations will be "limited" Thursday and Friday, and all normally in-person classes are "required to pivot to remote Thursday and Friday."

"Employees are encouraged to work remotely wherever possible and should consult with their supervisors. Events and research activities are encouraged to go remote or be rescheduled wherever possible."

The hospital and health system will remain open. UCLA Extension classes will continue, except for those scheduled on the UCLA campus, which will "either be moved to other locations or online."

During the night of chaos, punches were thrown between pro-Palestine and pro-Israel protesters, people were pepper-sprayed and at one point, someone even threw fireworks in the direction of protesters’ tents.

It all erupted on the sixth consecutive night of protests at UCLA.


The encampment was deemed unlawful. UCLA officials informed students they could be disciplined. Additionally, those who are not students could face misdemeanor charges, school officials said.

Organizers at the pro-Palestinian encampment issued a list of demands and called for divestment of all UCLA funds from companies tied to Israel and asked the university to call for a permanent ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.

FOX 11 spoke to a student who witnessed the mayhem Tuesday night. He said he’s concerned about what this could mean for the upcoming graduation ceremonies. 

"It’s crazy. I’ve been here for four years and this is the first time I’ve ever seen anything like this," Jason said. The student opted not to share his last name with FOX 11. 

"I saw it firsthand. I saw people tearing down barricades, throwing stuff into the encampment, things being thrown back, like pepper spray," he recalled.

His brother attends the University of Southern California, where the main commencement ceremony was canceled. 


"I’m afraid that this might happen to me, especially since COVID took away my high school graduation and now this," he said. 

"We are appalled at the violence that took place on the campus of UCLA last night. The abhorrent actions of a few counter-protesters last night do not represent the Jewish community or our values. We believe in peaceful, civil discourse," a statement issued by the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles said.

It continued to state, "We call on the Chancellor and UCLA to immediately close the encampment and reestablish deterrence."

California Governor Gavin Newsom released the following statement, "I condemn the violence at UCLA last night. The law is clear: The right to free speech does not extend to inciting violence, vandalism or lawlessness on campus. Those who engage in illegal behavior must be held accountable for their actions-- including through criminal prosecution, suspension, or expulsion."