UCLA chancellor speaks out condemning violence on campus

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block released a message condemning the extreme violence that erupted on campus Tuesday night. 

Around 11 p.m., a group of counter-protesters attacked a Pro-Palestine encampment, which first emerged on the UCLA campus last Thursday. 

Multiple fights broke out and firecrackers exploded outside the makeshift gates of the encampment. 

Video showed people attacking others with sticks, and the violence continued seemingly unchecked by police, with counter-protesters doing their best to invade the encampment. Pepper spray or bear repellent was also reportedly deployed, although it was unclear by whom.

A student organizer said 25 people were hospitalized and many more were injured. 

Police in riot gear eventually moved in around 3 a.m. It was unclear if any arrests were made.  

Wednesday around 6 p.m., the Los Angeles Police Department issued a dispersal order for the encampment, saying demonstrators will be arrested if protesters don't leave.


Also on Wednesday afternoon, Chancellor Gene Block released a statement condemning the violence, calling it unacceptable and referred to it as "a dark chapter in our campus’s history".

His message read in part, "However one feels about the encampment, this attack on our students, faculty and community members was utterly unacceptable. It has shaken our campus to its core and — adding to other abhorrent incidents that we have witnessed and that have circulated on social media over the past several days — further damaged our community’s sense of security.

I want to express my sincere sympathy to those who were injured last night, and to all those who have been harmed or have feared for their safety in recent days. No one at this university should have to encounter such violence. Our student affairs team has been reaching out to affected individuals and groups to offer support and connections to health and mental health resources.

We are still gathering information about the attack on the encampment last night, and I can assure you that we will conduct a thorough investigation that may lead to arrests, expulsions and dismissals. We are also carefully examining our own security processes in light of recent events."

Resources are available to students and employees, he said. 

The full statement can be read online.

UCLA canceled classes Wednesday due to the violent protest.