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US DEMOCRACY: US police violently clear UCLA encampment, student arrests reach 2,200

US riot police have dismantled a pro-Palestinian protest camp at the University of California at Los Angeles, a day after it was attacked by pro-Israel supporters.

At least 200 pro-Palestine protesters were arrested during the pre-dawn raid, led by a phalanx of California Highway Patrol officers carrying shields and batons, early on Thursday.

The protesters tried to block the officers’ advance by their sheer numbers, shouting “push them back”, while hundreds of pro-Palestinian activists who assembled outside the tent city were heard chanting “Shame on you” at the police.

According to estimates of local television station KABC-TV, 300 to 500 protesters were hunkered down inside the camp, while about 2,000 more had gathered outside the barricades in support.

The raid took place about a day after police watched on as pro-Israel groups violently attacked the encampment. Late Tuesday night, masked counter-demonstrators mounted a surprise assault on the camp, using sticks to beat the peaceful activists.

The assault went on for three hours into early Wednesday morning until police intervened and restored order.

The authorities’ slow response drew wide criticism from political leaders, including a spokesperson for California Governor Gavin Newsom who said “limited and delayed campus law enforcement response” to the unrest is “unacceptable.”

The Pro-Palestine demonstrations began at Columbia University in New York City on April 17, and have spread across other campuses in the US in a student movement unlike any other this century.

US police arrested about 2,200 people during pro-Palestinian protests at college campuses across the country in recent weeks, the Associated Press reported.

A tally by the news agency recorded at least 56 incidents of arrests at 43 different US colleges or universities since April 18.

The students are calling for an end to Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza and demanding schools divest from companies that support the Israeli regime.

Israel launched the war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas waged the surprise Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in response to the Israeli regime’s decades-long campaign of bloodletting and devastation against Palestinians.

Tel Aviv has also blocked water, food, and electricity to Gaza, plunging the coastal strip into a humanitarian crisis.

Since the start of the offensive, the Israeli regime has killed at least 34,596 Palestinians and injured 77,816 others.

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