Police Don Riot Gear as Brawls Break Out Between Campus Protesters

Police in Riot Gear Background

(RepublicanNews.org) – Police took a heavy hand with protesters on university campuses as the month of May kicked off, a move that many Americans felt was overdue as protesters on campuses went from blocking Jewish students from attending classes to taking over buildings in recent weeks.

One of the campuses to explode into pandemonium was UCLA. On Wednesday morning, May 1st, the pro-Palestinian encampment was met with backlash from counter-protesters who attacked the left-wing students “forcefully,” according to the UCLA chancellor.

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block called the counter-protesting activists “a group of instigators” and accused them of coming onto campus to “forcefully attack” the anti-Israeli encampment. Some of the counter-protesters waved Israeli flags while others threw chairs, traffic cones, and other objects. They used pepper spray on the pro-Palestinian protesters and tore down a barricade erected around the encampment. The groups fought for hours before police in riot gear broke it up, and the pro-Palestinian encampment then rebuilt the barricade that was dismantled.

At least 15 were injured in the clash, according to university officials, and one person was hospitalized. No arrests were made.

Muslim students and organizations showed up to a news conference later that Wednesday and blasted law enforcement and university officials for failing to stop the counter-protesters from harassing the encampment. Rebecca Husaini of the Muslim Public Affairs Council said that the community should “feel the police are protecting them” rather than “enabling others to harm them.” California Gov. Gavin Newsom and the city’s mayor also condemned the police’s failure to intervene.

The same day, police showed up and clashed with the activists at the University of Wisconsin, destroying tents and arresting protesters. Four police officers were injured in the clash, including a state trooper struck over the head by a protester wielding a skateboard.

Just the night before, on Tuesday, April 30th, the NYPD broke up a protest at Columbia University in New York when activists took over Hamilton Hall. When law enforcement showed up to remove the protesters, video of the events captured some behaving dramatically and seemingly surprised by their expulsion. The incident made international headlines.

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