HomeTop StoriesPro-Palestinian protesters at UC Santa Cruz were forcibly removed from their encampment

Pro-Palestinian protesters at UC Santa Cruz were forcibly removed from their encampment

Pro-Palestinian protesters who had set up an encampment and blocked the entrances to the University of California and Santa Cruz campus buildings were forcibly removed Friday morning and many were arrested, a university spokesperson said.

The protests began nearly a month ago on the UC Santa Cruz campus, with students demanding a ceasefire in the Gaza war and the university’s divestment from Israeli institutions.

On May 20, academic staff at UC Santa Cruz went on strike in protest against the deployment of the police to remove pro-Palestinian protesters from UC campuses as part of a system-wide protest against the university. On Wednesday and Thursday, UC Santa Cruz classes were held online for the second time in as many weeks due to the ongoing protest blocking the campus’ two main entrances.

The UC Santa Cruz campus has also seen disruptions in the Physical Sciences Building, dining halls and classrooms, along with an encampment moving from Quarry Plaza to the Barn Theater area.

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Early Friday morning, campus police in riot gear began removing protesters from the encampment.

“Following the ongoing deliberate and dangerous blockade of campus entrances, UC Santa Cruz has taken action to remove the barricades and disband the unlawful encampment. These actions began early this morning.”

“For weeks, camp participants were repeatedly given clear instructions to remove the camp and stop blocking access to numerous campus resources and to the campus itself,” UC Santa Cruz spokesperson Scott Hernandez-Jason said in an emailed statement sent statement to CBS News Bay Area. “They were told their actions were illegal and unsafe. And this morning they also received multiple warnings from law enforcement to leave the area and disperse to avoid arrest. Unfortunately, many refused to follow this directive and many individuals are arrested.”

Hernandez-Jason said the camp threatened safety and delayed the access of emergency vehicles.

The number of protesters arrested was not immediately known.

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This is a breaking news update. More information will be added when available.

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