Los Angeles Police Arrest 209 in Overnight Sweep to Clear Gaza Protesters From UCLA Campus | Video

Authorities declared the protest encampment to be an “unlawful assembly” on Wednesday night

LAPD masses on UCLA protest encampment
Via Bill Melugin/Fox News

UPDATE, 11 a.m. PT Thursday:

There were 209 people taken into custody early Thursday as Los Angeles police moved overnight to clear out UCLA’s pro-Palestinian encampment, LAPD officials told multiple media outlets.

The exact breakdown between students, faculty and nonaffiliated persons was not immediately known. Protesters who were detained were being booked at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s downtown location.

Video of the confrontation showed protesters throwing water bottles, wooden pallets and traffic cones as police prepared to sweep in. According to multiple media reports, at least one officer was injured; it wasn’t immediately clear whether any demonstrators were hurt.

PREVIOUSLY:

Following the declaration by authorities on Wednesday night that the Gaza war protest encampment at UCLA is an “unlawful assembly,” a large number of LAPD and California Highway Patrol officers have gathered at the campus and appear to be preparing to disperse the protesters.

LAPD issued a citywide tactical alert early Wednesday evening; officers began arriving on campus after 7:00 p.m.

In video posted to social media by Fox News national correspondent Bill Melugin around 8:20 p.m., LAPD officers in riot gear arranged themselves in a box formation near the encampment, as what appears to be many hundreds of people on campus shouted “Shame on you.”

In a video posted by Melugin at 9:19 p.m., Highway Patrol officers could be seen with visible zip ties and assorted crowd control equipment.

Eyewitnesses among the protesters on the scene also posted video.

The actions follow a brutal night of violence at UCLA late Tuesday night, when a group of pro-Israel counter-protesters — who according to UCLA chancellor Gene Block appeared to consist largely of outside “instigators” — attacked the encampment, unprovoked, using fireworks, pipes and tear gas against the encampment participants. The attackers also assaulted student journalists covering the event.

UCLA police and a private security service employed by the school proved unable or unwilling to intervene in the attack. For reasons that have not been adequately explained, it took outside law enforcement nearly 3 hours to arrive in numbers sufficient to stop the attackers. University administrators as well as LAPD and the LA Sheriff’s department have been strongly criticized for the delayed response, including by California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles Mayor Susan Bass.

In a statement, Block condemned the attacks, insisted he called LAPD to stop the attackers, “quell the fighting and protect our community.” He offered sympathy to victims of the attack and vowed the school will “conduct a thorough investigation that may lead to arrests, expulsions and dismissals.”

In a press conference Wednesday afternoon, representatives of the encampment protesters accused UCLA officials of informally sanctioning the attack “in a manner that’s very similar to the way that the Ku Klux Klan operated as a quasi-state,” one student spokesperson said.

Witnesses also accused LAPD of standing back and allowing the attack to proceed rather than intervening.

Josh Dickey and Mike Roe contributed to this report.

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