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Pro-Gaza Protesters Defiant at US Campuses Despite Police Crackdown

Protesters in support of Gaza across dozens of US college campuses are defiant in face of the police crackdown, with the latest flashpoint for mounting tensions being at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Hundreds of helmeted police descended onto the campus of the UCLA after darkness fell on Wednesday (US timing), preparing to clear out a pro-Palestinian protest camp attacked the previous night by pro-Israel supporters.

Starting around sunset, officers in tactical gear began filing onto the UCLA campus adjacent to a complex of tents set by throngs of demonstrators.

The demonstrators, many wearing the traditional Palestinian keffiyeh scarves, chanted, “Disclose, divest, we will not stop. We will not rest,” and “Free free Palestine.”

In the early hours of Wednesday, UCLA was the site of some of the worst violence seen in the protests so far, when pro-Israel forcefully attacked a pro-Palestinian encampment on the campus.

Fifteen people were injured during the UCLA confrontation, including one person who was hospitalized, while multiple news reports said security guards and law enforcement officials at the scene initially retreated or failed to intervene.

UCLA had canceled classes for the day following a violent clash early on Wednesday between prompted by a surprise by pro-Israel protesters on the tent city.

Members of the pro-Palestinian group said fireworks were thrown at them and they were beaten with bats and sticks. University officials blamed the disturbance on “instigators” and vowed an investigation.

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters were arrested across US campuses, with The Washington Post reporting that the number of arrests exceeded 1,700.

Demonstrators have set-up encampments on at least 30 campuses across the US and are demanding that academic institutions stop doing business with the Zionist entity or companies that are connected to the Israeli military’s war in Gaza.

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