UC Irvine protest: 50 arrests made at pro-Palestinian encampment

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

IRVINE, Calif. – The pro-Palestinian encampment that had been set up for weeks on the University of California-Irvine campus has been dismantled and was completely cleared Thursday morning after tensions grew high the night prior, resulting in evacuation orders and 50 arrests. 

While the encampment has been cleared, all classes will be held remotely on Thursday following the night of unrest. 

UCI officials confirmed Thursday morning that 50 people were arrested as police began the booking process on site and those arrested were taken to the OC Jail. 

Those arrested, comprised of students, UCI employees and non-affiliates, were detained for failure to disperse after a direct police order, and some were arrested for trespassing. Once booked, all 50 were released on citation, authorities confirmed. 

Protesters began rallying around the Physical Sciences Lecture Hall around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday near the encampment as they demanded that the university divest from Israel over the Hamas war. They then began blocking the entrance to the building when officers and Orange County sheriff’s deputies in riot gear started arresting protesters, including two who identified themselves as UCI faculty members. 

Hundreds of law enforcement officers moved onto the campus and video from the scene showed pushing and shoving between both sides as things escalated. 

Law enforcement dismantled the encampment by the early evening hours after declaring an unlawful assembly and ordering the crowd to disperse.

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The situation seemed to intensify in the last week after some students received suspension notices. 

“We were just peacefully protesting, but they see it as aggressive, which is the issue, and I just feel like they need to back off and go back where they came from to be honest,” one protester told FOX 11. 

“[They’re] suspending students, arresting students, that’s not right, which is why we’re out here protesting,” another protester said. 

By 7 p.m., close to 300 protesters remained and about an hour later, authorities gave orders for them to disperse or face arrest. 

UC Irvine Chancellor Howard Gillman issued the following open letter after Wednesday’s campus clash between law enforcement and student-led demonstrators:

UC’s Robinson/Edley Report

While classes will be held remotely on Thursday, increased patrols remain on campus.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.

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