May 23, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

UCLA Faculty Members Stage Protest at Hammer Museum Gala

Demand Amnesty for Pro-Palestinian UCLA Students

Twenty UCLA faculty members staged a protest Saturday night outside the UCLA Hammer Museum’s Gala in the Garden, directing their ire at Chancellor Gene Block and calling for amnesty for pro-Palestinian students arrested on campus earlier in the week.

As guests, dressed in cocktail attire, entered the museum for the annual gala, English Department professor Jonathan Grossman criticized Block. Grossman and his colleagues accused Block of orchestrating both the forcible removal of students from their encampment on Wednesday and failing to shield them from a violent group the night before.

Elizabeth O’Brien, a professor in the History Department, recounted witnessing what she described as a sustained assault on pro-Palestinian students by an antagonistic crowd on Tuesday night. O’Brien alleged that despite appeals for intervention, law enforcement remained inactive, even resorting to threats against those seeking help. She presented X-rays she claimed depicted a student’s broken hand, allegedly sustained from rubber bullet fire during the clash.

UCLA’s Police Chief, John Thomas, came under scrutiny for purportedly neglecting to furnish a written safety plan and sufficient security measures, as mandated by campus authorities. Thomas rebuffed allegations of security oversights, asserting that every precaution was taken to safeguard students.

In response to the protests, Chancellor Block characterized the incident as “a dark chapter” in the university’s annals and pledged a thorough review of existing protocols.

The demonstration underscores festering tensions at UCLA regarding the handling of student activism and the university’s stance on security issues.

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