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Solidarity with the UCLA Encampment against Zionists and the LAPD

The Gaza Solidarity Encampment at UCLA was attacked by a mob of Zionists, then brutally cleared by the LAPD. The encampments need our full solidarity against cops and Zionists.

Julia Wallace

May 2, 2024
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LAPD cracking down on the UCLA Palestine solidarity encampment on the evening of May 1.

The UCLA encampment in solidarity with Palestine became a bloody scene on Tuesday as Zionists escalated their violent antics. Early into the morning, after Zionists played loud music, set off stink bombs to antagonize the students, and shot fireworks into the encampment, a mob rushed the barricades using pepper spray, bear mace, bats, and knives. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and university police stood by for hours as the Zionists attacked the students. Students were bloodied and beaten, but the encampment remained.

The attack by Zionists came on the same day the police attacked Columbia University and City College in New York, Emory University in Georgia, the University of New Mexico, and other encampments around the United States. These attempts to stifle organized critique of Israel and U.S. imperialism’s role, as well as universities’ complicity in apartheid, must be met with mass mobilization and job actions with organized labor defending the encampments.

On May 1, over 1,000 people mobilized at UCLA to defend the encampment and defend students against the Zionist attacks. Members of the labor movement in particular showed up and called for solidarity. UAW 4811 — representing the UCLA graduate workers — released a statement calling for a strike authorization vote of the local to defend the encampment. Hundreds stayed and forced both the Zionists and the LAPD to retreat from the encampment. 

In the early hours of May 2, the LAPD attempted to clear the encampment again using especially brutal methods. Swarms of riot police shot rubber bullets into groups of protesters and used tear gas, striking a student in the head with the canister. Mass arrests took place and activists fought to free their comrades. This attack is clearly an attempt to break the solidarity that was expressed and remove the encampment. 

The LAPD’s repression is part and parcel of a larger police and university strategy to brutally crack down on encampments and harshly repress the students, faculty, and staff who are participating in them.The fate of the encampment has not yet been decided. It is clear is the mass mobilization at UCLA with its defense by organized labor forced was powerful enough to clear the Zionists and force LAPD into retreat. 

In defending Palestine, and opposing U.S. imperialism and Israel’s genocide in Gaza, we must also defend our own comrades. The labor movement must use its strength to defend the working class as well as the democratic right to oppose U.S. government policy and war. As this is being written, thousands continue to show up to defend the UCLA encampment. Further encampments continue to grow around the country and world. We must defend the resistance to genocide everywhere, and fight repression by police. 

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Julia Wallace

Julia is a contributor for Left Voice and has been a revolutionary socialist for over ten years. She served on the South Central Neighborhood Council in Los Angeles and is a member of SEIU Local 721. Julia organizes against police brutality and in defense of LGBTQ, women, and immigrants' rights. When she's not actively fighting the patriarchy, white supremacy and/or capitalism, she enjoys many things: she loves Thundercat, plays ultimate frisbee and is a founder of the team, "Black Lives Hammer."

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