UC Chancellor voices regret to Congress about protests

Chancellor Gene Block told Congress he regretted not moving in sooner to remove the encampment.

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block expressed regret for not acting sooner to remove the pro-Palestinian encampment that was violently attacked by counter-protesters.

Block, testifying before a congressional committee in Washington, D.C., acknowledged that with the benefit of hindsight, the encampment should have been removed immediately if the safety of the community was at risk.


The big picture: Bock said he followed the UC system guidance initially, which advised using law enforcement to remove protesters only when absolutely necessary to protect campus safety.

  • The encampment, which grew to over 500 protesters, led Block to decide to remove it on April 28, but due to delays in the notice, a violent attack by counter-demonstrators occurred, resulting in injuries.
  • During the hearing, Rep. Ilhan Omar criticized Block, stating that the violent attacks could have been prevented by protecting the pro-Palestinian students peacefully gathered on campus.
  • Block also faced questions about allegations that the encampment blocked Jewish and pro-Israel students from parts of the campus, with criticism from Rep. Virginia Foxx and Rep. Kevin Kiley.
  • Protesters were setting up a new encampment on the UCLA campus during the hearing, and faculty members from Rutgers, Northwestern, and UCLA criticized the congressional committee, calling the hearing an attack on higher education.
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