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Pro-Palestinian protesters storm conference room at University of California, Irvine, police make arrests

On the University of California Irvine campus, the situation escalated Wednesday when a group of about several hundred supporters of pro-Palestinian aggregators somehow entered a conference room and surrounded it, according to school officials.

Law enforcement officers deployed to the University of California Irvine (UC Irvine) arrest protesters, after anti-Gaza war demonstrators surrounded the physical sciences lecture hall, amid conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas continues, in Irvine, California, United States May 15, 2024. REUTERS/Mike Blake (Reuters)

The Irvine Police Department (IPD) and Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) both received a call after the University of California, Irvine also requested additional law enforcement assistance local authorities, as mentioned in a campus emergency alert.

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The situation remaining active, the police made several arrests. However, the exact number of people detained has not yet been disclosed.

Efforts to dismantle protesters’ barricades began, with police moving in to clear the encampment and secure the building.

ALSO READ | UCLA student newspaper editor speaks out after ‘traumatic’ raid on pro-Palestinian encampment, attacks on journalists

Classes canceled amid pro-Palestinian protest

University sources confirm that the incident occurred in the physical sciences lecture hall around 2:30 p.m. local time. All classes for the day have been canceled.

University officials advised people near the protest to evacuate the area quickly and not follow previous instructions requiring them to shelter in place.

UC Irvine’s statement was clear: “Anyone currently in buildings near the protest is advised to exit the buildings and leave the area.” Please disregard all previous orders to shelter in place. If possible, please leave immediately and continue to avoid the protest area until further notice.

The presence of pro-Palestinian protesters on the University of Irvine campus is not new; they have been camping since April 29.

The recent upheavals are part of a broader wave of nationwide protests that have erupted on more than 30 U.S. college campuses, calling on educational institutions to divest from companies that provide financial support to Israel.

ALSO READ | More than 1,500 protesters arrested on 30 US campuses in just one month. Here are 10 where things currently stand

Jagdeep Singh Bachher, the University of California’s chief investment officer, revealed Tuesday that the investments reviewed by student protesters total $32 billion, or nearly a fifth of the UC system’s total assets.

Last month, the university’s president announced there would be no boycott or divestment from Israel.

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News Source : www.hindustantimes.com

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