'WE WILL NOT REST': 50 arrested at UC Irvine after students storm campus building

Almost 50 protesters were arrested after intensifying their protest last week.

UC Irvine Chancellor Howard Gillman said that protesters' ‘assault on the academic freedom rights of our faculty and the free speech rights of faculty and students was appalling.’

Screenshot taken from X account of Cam Higby.

Police clashed with anti-Israel protesters at the University of California, Irvine on May 15, dispersing their encampment. 

Hundreds of the demonstrators invaded and occupied a building before the police moved in and arrested 47 of the disruptive protesters. 

The encampment began on April 29 and continued for several weeks. 

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Matters deteriorated on Wednesday as protesters occupied the Physical Sciences Lecture Hall and chanted “we won’t move” and “shame.” The university warned students to avoid the area of the protest. 

The building occupation was followed by police moving in and arresting demonstrators. 

UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman called the day of the arrest a “sad day for our university” and said: “I’m brokenhearted.”

“For the last two weeks, I have consistently communicated that the encampment violated our policies but that the actions did not rise to the level requiring police intervention. . . . I was prepared to allow a peaceful encampment to exist on the campus without resorting to police intervention, even though the encampment violated our policies and the existence of the encampment was a matter of great distress to other members of our community,” he continued. 

Gillman stated that the protesters made what he claimed were outrageous demands: “The latest campus-specific and systemwide demands made by our encampers and their counterparts across the University of California attempted to dictate that anyone who disagreed with them must conform to their opinions.”

He added: “Most importantly, their assault on the academic freedom rights of our faculty and the free speech rights of faculty and students was appalling. One can only imagine the response if people on the other side of these issues established an encampment to force me to censor all anti-Zionist academic and student programming.”

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Ahead of the arrests, Sarah Khalil, a UCI student and chair of the school’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, said of the school: “Their suspensions, bad-faith negotiations, their lying emails, their threat of police – all of these are fear tactics meant to silence us, but we are strong in our resolve and we will not rest.”

Campus Reform has reached out to the University of California, Irvine, for comment. This article will be updated accordingly.