UC Santa Cruz Sees Dramatic Arrest of 80 Protesters in Heated Showdown!

On May 31, 2024, approximately 80 pro-Palestinian protesters were arrested at the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) after they refused to dismantle an encampment that had blocked the campus entrance for several days. The police, accompanied by the California Highway Patrol, moved in early Friday morning to dismantle the encampment and reopen the roads.

The protests had been ongoing for more than a week, causing classes to be held online and leading to disruptions in dining services. The protesters demanded various actions, including a ceasefire in Gaza, ending relationships with organizations that support UCSC’s Jewish students and staff, and divesting from and boycotting companies affiliated with Israel.

UCSC spokesperson Scott Hernandez stated that the university removed the barricades and disbanded the unlawful encampment, giving the protesters repeated, clear directions to move their camps. UCSC Chancellor Cynthia Larive expressed her concern over the blockades, stating they were “extremely dangerous” and caused “intentional harm” to many students and staff members who couldn’t get to work, class, or access childcare. She also stated that meeting the protesters’ demands would undermine academic freedom and the rights of others on campus.

Despite the arrests, the protesters vowed to continue their demonstrations until their demands were met. A UCSC professor, Fernando Leiva, disagreed with the university administration’s approach to the protests.