UCLA chancellor says university is in 'deep pain' from recent protests

After another day of violent protests at UCLA, Chancellor Gene Block released another statement saying the university is in "deep pain". 

Following a roughly nine-hour standoff Thursday morning, law enforcement dismantled the pro-Palestine encampment on Royce Quad, bringing an end to the weeklong protest.

Over 200 protesters were arrested. FOX 11 was told those who were arrested were cited for unlawful assembly. They were given breakfast, then released. They are set to appear in court at a later date. Chancellor Block said about 300 protesters voluntarily left.

Police moved in on protesters around 3 a.m. after demonstrators refused to move out. By about 4 a.m., officers had largely dismantled the eastern front of the encampment. Officers then turned their attention to the area immediately in front of Royce Hall, where some protesters could be seen throwing what appeared to be water and other objects at the officers. By 4:45 a.m., however, police had successfully cleared the area.

By Thursday afternoon Block shared another message condemning yet another violent night on the Westwood campus. 

His message read in part, "Our community is in deep pain. We are reeling from days of violence and division. And we hope with all our hearts that we can return to a place where our students, faculty and staff feel safe and, one day, connected again.

Our approach to the encampment that was established on Royce Quad last week has been guided by several equally important principles: the need to support the safety and wellbeing of Bruins, the need to support the free expression rights of our community, and the need to minimize disruption to our teaching and learning mission.

The events of the past several days, and especially the terrifying attack on our students, faculty and staff on Tuesday night, have challenged our efforts to live up to these principles and taken an immense toll on our community. We approached the encampment with the goal of maximizing our community members’ ability to make their voices heard on an urgent global issue. We had allowed it to remain in place so long as it did not jeopardize Bruins’ safety or harm our ability to carry out our mission.

But while many of the protesters at the encampment remained peaceful, ultimately, the site became a focal point for serious violence as well as a huge disruption to our campus. Several days of violent clashes between demonstrators and counter-demonstrators put too many Bruins in harm’s way and created an environment that was completely unsafe for learning."

He said demonstrators directly blocked students' pathways to classrooms. Classes were canceled Wednesday and went remote for Thursday and Friday.

On Wednesday, demonstrators and members of the pro-Palestinian encampment spoke out against the university, police response and more, and reiterated that the encampment will remain until their demands are met

In the message Block released, he said the university "communicated with and made a formal request to meet with demonstration leaders to discuss options for a peaceful and voluntary disbanding of the encampment". However, the meeting did not lead to an agreement.

Block added that they will continue to investigate the violent attacks on campus and examine their security process that night. 

Counseling services are available for students, faculty, and staff.

You can read Block's entire message online