UCLA protest: Fights erupt, firecrackers thrown at pro-Palestinian tents

Violence erupted on the UCLA campus Tuesday night as multiple brawls broke out and firecrackers exploded outside the makeshift gates of the pro-Palestine encampments in Westwood.

Some of the chaos was captured during FOX 11's evening newscast and at one point, someone tossed a firecracker at the pro-Palestinian encampment site.

The brawls happened in short spurts several times over the overnight hours. In addition, for nearly three hours, there were no signs of the Los Angeles Police Department or University of California campus cops jumping in to confront the people fighting and causing the disturbance at UCLA.

Around midnight, UC's police department formally requested help from the LAPD. Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, who was in Washington D.C. at the time of the campus chaos, confirmed at 1:47 a.m. PT Wednesday officers arrived on campus.

RELATED: LAPD confirms UCLA arrival – about 2+ hours after fights broke out, explosions targeting pro-Palestine tents


LAPD announced on social media echoing Bass' announcement at 2 a.m. PT Wednesday.

As violence occurred just feet away from them, members of a private security firm – not to be confused with LAPD officers or UC schools' campus police – stood still.

FOX 11's crew on the scene got a whiff of pepper spray. As a result, they briefly lost their voices mid-newscast.

FOX 11's ground crew suspected the groups of people fighting and causing trouble outside the encampment site may have nothing to do with pro-Palestine and pro-Israel beliefs, adding that the perpetrators behind the violence were likely agitators, not demonstrators.

UCLA's Strategic Communications office issued the following statement:

"Horrific acts of violence occurred at the encampment tonight and we immediately called law enforcement for mutual aid support. The fire department and medical personnel are on the scene. We are sickened by this senseless violence and it must end."

All seemed calm on campus early Wednesday morning as a large police presence remained.