UCLA Campus Protests

UCLA Encampment 2024
Photo credit: Karla Cardenas-Felipe/Daily Bruin


ike many universities across the country and around the world, UCLA is experiencing a period of unrest. The Oct. 7 attack and ensuing conflict in Gaza have led to protests, encampments, violence, vandalism, arrests, remote learning, canceled events and calls for change. The following is a compilation of excerpts from University announcements and AP News alerts addressing these events as they unfolded. Click on the links to read the full statement.

Oct. 9, 2023

Chancellor Gene Block issued a message regarding recent violent attacks abroad and shared a statement from UC President Michael Drake and UC Board of Regents Chair Richard Leib:

“I write to share the below message from University of California President Michael V. Drake and UC Board of Regents Chair Richard Leib about the horrific and heart-wrenching terrorist attacks on Israeli citizens that took place over the weekend. These attacks led to an escalation of violence in the region that has since claimed many additional Israeli and Palestinian lives…”

Oct. 13, 2023

Chancellor Gene Block shared this message about the recent events in Israel and Gaza and the resources available to our community:

“I write to share reflections at the end of a very challenging week for both our UCLA community and the world. Only six days ago, a heinous assault was perpetrated upon Israeli civilians by the terror organization Hamas, a despicable attack that included the killing of children and the elderly as well as the taking of innocent hostages. Earlier this week, I joined UC leadership in condemning this attack, and as new details have emerged, I can only denounce it further: This was a grievous act of malice and hate. It was, I am pained to say, the largest one-day killing of Jews since the end of the Holocaust...”

Oct. 27, 2023

This message was shared with the campus community by vice chancellor for Student Affairs Monroe Gorden Jr. ʼ94, CERT. ʼ09, administrative vice chancellor Michael Beck and interim vice provost for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Mitchell Chang:

“As violence continues in the Middle East, and as events and rallies related to the conflict take place on our campus, we have heard from members of our community who are concerned about their safety. We write today to share some of the actions UCLA is taking to promote security, respect and well-being within our community while ensuring our university remains true to its commitment to freedom of expression...

Chancellor Gene Block shared this message with the campus community about the importance of tolerance, mutual respect and maintaining a safe environment on campus:

“The ongoing conflict in the Middle East has stirred very deep emotions in many of us. But this does not in the least give anyone in our community — or anyone visiting our campus — license to make our students, staff or faculty feel unsafe.”

Nov. 10, 2023

Chancellor Block shared the following message with the campus community condemning incidents of bigotry, intolerance and intimidation that have taken place on UC campuses, including UCLA, over the past several weeks:

“Periods of conflict in the Middle East have time and again been linked to a global rise in reprehensible acts of Antisemitism, Islamophobia and anti-Arab hate. I am extremely disheartened to say that this has proven true once again, and the UCLA campus has by no means been spared…”

Feb. 21, 2024

UCLA statement on resolutions by the Graduate Student Association and the Undergraduate Students Association Council which have called for divestment from Israel:

“These resolutions run counter to the position of the University of California and UCLA, which, like all nine other UC campuses, has consistently opposed calls for a boycott against and divestment from Israel. This has been the longstanding position of all 10 UC campus chancellors and the UC Office of the President. We stand firm in our conviction that a boycott of this sort poses a direct and serious threat to the academic freedom of our students and faculty and to the unfettered exchange of ideas and perspectives on our campuses…”

March 28, 2024

UCLA issued a statement in response to an appalling and hateful display at a UC Board of Regents meeting:

“We are appalled, offended and deeply frustrated by the ugly antisemitic caricature that was displayed as part of a protest targeting a University of California Board of Regents meeting on our campus in mid-March. The protest ended on March 21 and the display has been removed. Hateful and racist depictions like this are a complete affront to UCLA’s Principles of Community and True Bruin Values, and to the diverse, inclusive academic community we aim to cultivate….”

April 25, 2024

Campus activity update: “Demonstration with encampments formed early this morning in Royce Quad.”

Mary Osako ʼ96, vice chancellor for UCLA Strategic Communications, shared the following statement regarding the demonstration:

“Our top priority is always the safety and well-being of our entire Bruin community. We’re actively monitoring this situation to support a peaceful campus environment that respects our community’s right to free expression while minimizing disruption to our teaching and learning mission...”

April 26, 2024

Mary Osako ʼ96, vice chancellor for UCLA Strategic Communications, shared a statement regarding the encampment:

“Yesterday morning, demonstrators established a physical encampment on a lawn in Royce quad, joining similar groups that have set up presences at universities across the country. UCLA’s approach to the encampment is 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. These same long-standing principles have allowed UCLA to uphold a history of peaceful protest…”

The University of California shared the following statement:

“The University of California has consistently opposed calls for boycott against and divestment from Israel. While the University affirms the right of our community members to express diverse viewpoints, a boycott of this sort impinges on the academic freedom of our students and faculty and the unfettered exchange of ideas on our campuses…”

April 27, 2024

Campus activity update: “Regular campus activities continue uninterrupted by the encampment demonstration… Safety personnel in Student Affairs Mitigators (SAMs) and Public Safety Aides (PSAs) uniforms are around the encampment site, and CSC security teams are also located throughout campus. While in the area, you may also hear helicopter activity that is associated with the news media covering the demonstration.”

April 28, 2024

Campus activity update: “Regular campus activities continue uninterrupted by the encampment demonstration…UCLA is following University of California systemwide policy guidance, which directs us not to request law enforcement involvement preemptively, and only if absolutely necessary to protect the physical safety of our campus community.”

11:22 a.m.: Mary Osako ʼ96, vice chancellor for UCLA Strategic Communications, shared a statement:

“This morning, a group of demonstrators breached a barrier that the university had established separating two groups of protestors on our campus, resulting in physical altercations. UCLA has a long history of being a place of peaceful protest, and we are heartbroken about the violence that broke out.”

April 29, 2024

Campus activity update: “We are heartbroken to report that yesterday, some physical altercations broke out among demonstrators on Royce Quad. We have since instituted additional security measures and increased the numbers of our safety team members on site, including our uniformed Student Affairs Mitigators (SAMs), Public Safety Aides (PSAs), CSC and campus security.”

April 30, 2024

8 a.m., Campus activity update: “Events and activities are being evaluated on a case-by-case basis and we are working to maintain our regular campus life as much as possible.  Event organizers will communicate with participants directly regarding changes, cancellations or alternative access accommodations.”

4:25 p.m., Campus activity update: “Access to Royce Hall is now closed through Friday. Alternate locations are being identified as options for classes taking place in Royce. Instructors will inform students about further information regarding class location. Faculty should reach out to their departments for possible classroom reassignments.”

5 p.m.: Chancellor Gene Block shared a message with the campus affirming UCLA’s support of peaceful protest and condemning incidents of bullying and threatening behavior:

“Many of the demonstrators, as well as counter-demonstrators who have come to the area, have been peaceful in their activism. But the tactics of others have frankly been shocking and shameful. We have seen instances of violence completely at odds with our values as an institution dedicated to respect and mutual understanding. In other cases, students on their way to class have been physically blocked from accessing parts of the campus. In response… we have significantly increased our security presence in the area… we have also engaged law enforcement to investigate the recent acts of violence. The barriers that demonstrators used to block access to buildings have been removed, and we have staff located around Royce Quad to help ensure that they will not go up again… I recognize that the suffering in the Middle East has had a profound impact on our campus, and we continue to hope for a peaceful resolution. While Bruins hold a variety of perspectives on this conflict, we must all protect the wellbeing of our peers and maintain an environment safe for learning. This is a commitment I call on our community to uphold as we navigate the weeks ahead.”

A statement from UC President Michael V. Drake, M.D., on free speech and campus protests:

“The right to protest and demonstrate against policies and practices of governing authorities is among the most important privileges of a democracy. This right is not, however, absolute. We must exercise our rights within the broad confines of the laws and policies we ourselves have established. Earlier today, the UCLA campus sent out a message for those in the UCLA encampment informing them that the encampment is unlawful and violates university policy...”

Officials at UCLA declared the pro-Palestinian encampment illegal for the first time on Tuesday and warned protesters that they faced consequences if they did not leave.

May 1, 2024

12:12 a.m.: Mary Osako ʼ96, vice chancellor for UCLA Strategic Communications, shared a statement about the attack at the encampment on campus:

“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.”

1:10 a.m., AP News: “Pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli protesters clashed in Los Angeles on the campus of UCLA on Wednesday in the latest escalation of demonstrations against the Israel-Hamas war that have spread to college campuses nationwide.”

6:59 a.m., AP News: “Police move to separate pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli demonstrators at UCLA. Police in riot gear moved onto the UCLA campus in Los Angeles amid violence between pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli protesters on Wednesday.”

8 a.m.: Campus activity updates: “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.”

2:15 p.m.: Chancellor Gene Block shared a message with the campus community about recent violence and restoring a safe learning environment at UCLA:

“Late last night, a group of instigators came to Royce Quad to forcefully attack the encampment that has been established there to advocate for Palestinian rights. Physical violence ensued, and our campus requested support from external law enforcement agencies to help end this appalling assault, quell the fighting and protect our community. 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.”

6:07 p.m.,  AP News: “Students speak out about overnight violence at UCLA protests… after counter-protesters ‘forcefully’ attacked a pro-Palestinian encampment at UCLA early Wednesday.”

6:30 p.m., Campus activity update: “Campus operations will be limited tomorrow and Friday. Please continue to avoid campus and the Royce Quad area… Per Academic Senate guidance on instruction, all in-person classes are authorized and required to pivot to remote tomorrow and Friday.”

8:39 p.m., AP News: “Tension grows on UCLA campus as police order dispersal of large pro-Palestinian gathering… A large crowd of students, alumni and neighbors gathered on campus steps outside the barricaded area of tents, sitting as they listened and applauded various speakers and joined in pro-Palestinian chants. Overheard television cameras showed students in the barricaded area passing out goggles and helmets, as well as setting up medical aid stations.”

May 2, 2024

12:09 a.m., AP News: “Police in riot gear massed on the UCLA campus and ordered a large group of pro-Palestinian demonstrators inside a fortified encampment to leave the area or face arrest late Wednesday.”

2:59 a.m., Bruin ALERT: “AVOID THE AREA of Dickson Plaza due police activity; Police have ordered an evacuation of Dickson Plaza due to an unlawful assembly. DO NOT re-enter the area of Dickson Plaza & follow the direction of public safety personnel. UCLA has modified campus operations.”

7:10 a.m., AP News: “Police and protesters clash at UCLA in tense scene as pro-Palestinian encampment is dismantled. Police removed barricades and have begun dismantling the fortified encampment of pro-Palestinian demonstrators in a chaotic and tense scene at the University of California, Los Angeles.”

9:25 a.m., AP News: “Tense clashes at UCLA between pro-Palestinian protesters and police lead to arrests. Police removed barricades and began dismantling pro-Palestinian demonstrators’ fortified encampment early Thursday at the University of California, Los Angeles, after hundreds of protesters defied orders to leave, some of them forming human chains as police fired flash-bangs to break up the crowds.”

1:41 p.m.: Chancellor Gene Block shared a message with the campus community about the immense toll the events of the past week have taken on Bruins:

“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… To preserve campus safety and the continuity of our mission, early this morning, we made the decision to direct UCPD and outside law enforcement officers to enter and clear the encampment. Officers followed a plan that had been carefully developed to protect the safety of protesters at the site. Those who remained encamped last night were given several warnings and were offered the opportunity to leave peacefully with their belongings before officers entered the area. Ultimately, about 300 protesters voluntarily left, while more than 200 resisted orders to disperse and were arrested.”

May 3, 2024

Campus activity update: “Campus operations will be limited through the weekend, and are expected to resume in full on Monday. Classes continue remote through the weekend. Work, events and research activities are encouraged to remain remote or be rescheduled wherever possible during that period.”

May 5, 2024

Chancellor Gene Block sent a message to the Bruin community outlining an organizational change which will administer policing and emergency management:

“Effective immediately, I am moving oversight and management of UCLA PD and the Office of Emergency Management from the Office of the Administrative Vice Chancellor to a newly created Office of Campus Safety, whose leader reports directly to me. It is clear that UCLA needs a unit and leader whose sole responsibility is campus safety to guide us through tense times… Leading the Office of Campus Safety as its inaugural associate vice chancellor is Rick Braziel, who brings to the position more than 30 years of public safety service, including five years as chief of police for the City of Sacramento. Braziel has also served as an instructor in community policing and has led reviews of law enforcement agencies and police responses.”

Campus activity update: “The campus will return to regular operations tomorrow, Monday, May 6, and plans to remain this way through the rest of the week.”

May 6, 2024

8:30 a.m., Campus activity update: “Classes and work in Moore Hall will be remote today due to ongoing disruptions.”

10:15 a.m., Campus activity update: “All classes are moving remote today and campus operations are limited due to ongoing disruptions.” 

4 p.m., Campus activity update: “Due to ongoing disruption, the campus has returned to limited operational status. Therefore, per Senate guidance (link is external), classes will move remote May 6-10.” 

6:38 p.m.: Chancellor Gene Block shared a message with the campus community about an investigation to identify the perpetrators and hold them to account:

“Last Tuesday night, a group of instigators came to Royce Quad and violently attacked students, faculty and staff members who were encamped to advocate for Palestinian rights. This was a truly despicable act, and in my message to the campus the following day, I committed to finding those responsible and bringing them to justice. This remains an important priority. To that end, inaugural Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Safety Officer Rick Braziel is leading a law enforcement investigation to identify the perpetrators of the violence and hold them to account...”

May 7, 2024

UC announces nationally-recognized firm will review actions that led to violent events at the UCLA campus last week:

“Today, the University of California announced that 21st Century Policing Solutions (21CP) will lead the independent investigation of the actions that led to violence on the UCLA campus last week. 21CP is a nationally recognized consultant known for expertise…”

May 9, 2024

The University of California Office of the President announced guiding principles for use by UC campuses in determining disciplinary actions:

“UC campuses support and protect nonviolent and lawful protests. We do all we can within the law to facilitate freedom of expression and a vibrant exchange of ideas, while also maintaining a safe environment and access to university facilities for all members of our community… Any member of the university community who is arrested for unlawful behavior or cited for a violation of university policy must go through the applicable review process, such as student code of conduct or employee disciplinary process. UC community members found to violate university policy or campus codes of conduct will be held accountable in a manner appropriate to the situation and consistent with campus processes.”

UCPD Statement Regarding 5-6-24 Incidents:

“On Monday, May 6, 2024, at about 5:50 a.m., a UCLA community member reported a large group of people at Parking Structure 2. UCLA PD officers responded to the location and found a group of approximately 40 individuals inside the structure wearing masks and in possession of metal pipes… At about 6:05 a.m., while the group at Parking Structure 2 was still detained, a group of at least 30 individuals were seen inside Moore Hall. Moore Hall was closed to the public at that time. UCPD learned via social media that a UCLA registered student organization had just posted a statement encouraging people to occupy Moore Hall… After approximately 25 minutes of announcements… a group of about 60 individuals exited the building and left the area.”

AP News: UCLA faculty and staff denounce University’s handling of student Gaza protest. “Some professors at UCLA are demanding that the University stop its plan to punish students recently arrested while protesting the ongoing war in Gaza at a tent encampment on campus.”

May 11, 2024

Campus activity update: “ALL CLEAR - Dickson Plaza (Royce Quad) has reopened to the public. Please follow the direction of facilities & public safety personnel as the affected area(s) reopen.  Law enforcement and other security personnel continue to be on campus to help promote safety and actively monitor conditions. The campus has returned to regular operations. - ALL CLEAR.”

May 20, 2024

Chancellor Gene Block shared a message reflecting on several very difficult weeks for our UCLA community:

“The events of the past several weeks have fractured both our sense of community and our sense of security. They have bred anger and mistrust between Bruins, and they have led to marked frustration with how we have administered campus safety at UCLA. I am deeply sorry to see our community in so much pain... This week, I will be testifying before a Congressional committee focused on the topic of antisemitism on college campuses. I will speak honestly, and personally, about the challenges UCLA faces and the impact of this pernicious form of hate. I will continue to insist that antisemitism – as well as Islamophobia, anti-Arab hate and any form of bigotry, hostility or discrimination – is antithetical to our values, corrosive to our community and not to be tolerated... In my final few months as chancellor, I am dedicated to doing all I can to address these challenges and help shepherd the process of rebuilding trust and dialogue within our community. This includes ongoing discussions with student and faculty leaders of all perspectives, with the aim of ensuring our campus can be a place where advocacy does not lead to antagonism.”

As developments unfold, visit the UCLA Newsroom Campus Statements and Bruins Safe Online pages for the latest updates.

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