Many people arrested at UC Santa Cruz as police break up encampment

Pro-Palestinian protesters had set up and encampment at UC Santa Cruz.

Police arrested numerous individuals during a protest at UC Santa Cruz where pro-Palestinian demonstrators had set up an encampment and barricades blocking the campus entrance. 

The operation involving police in riot gear aimed to dismantle the blockade that had been maintained for several days.


Driving the news: Campus, local, and state police surrounded the protesters, urging them to disperse and removing signs and portions of the barricade. 

  • Videos showed some confrontations and detentions as officers used zip ties on individuals who did not comply with the orders to vacate the area.
  • No reports of injuries were confirmed during the protest incident, and the university proceeded with remote classes on the day of the arrests. 
  • Meanwhile, graduate student workers continued their strike that commenced the previous week in response to perceived mistreatment of pro-Palestinian demonstrators within the university system.

Zoom out: The UC Santa Cruz event reflects a broader movement of protest camps across the US and Europe demanding a halt to business ties with Israel and companies supporting the conflict in Gaza. 

  • Organizers seek to amplify demands to end the Israel-Hamas war, framing it as a genocide against Palestinians.
  • Since mid-April, over 3,000 people have been recorded across 62 colleges and universities in the US, according to the Associated Press. 
  • Previous protests and arrests, such as those at a Detroit campus and MIT, have occurred in connection with pro-Palestinian activism amid ongoing global tensions.
  • Protesters have highlighted resistance to business collaborations and research projects between educational institutions and Israeli entities, with calls for divestment and solidarity with Gaza becoming integral to campus activism amid the Israel-Hamas conflict.

What they’re saying: “For weeks, encampment participants were given repeated, clear direction to remove the encampment and cease blocking access to numerous campus resources and to the campus itself,” said UC Santa Cruz spokesperson Scott Hernandez-Jason in a statement. 

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