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Four people assaulted by anti-Israel protesters who seized, thrashed CSULA building

It was absolute pandemonium at California State University Los Angeles on Wednesday evening as anti-Israel activists took over a campus building, barricaded themselves in, and completely thrashed the premises — forcing the president of the school to shelter-in-place in her own office.

On Thursday, President Berenecea Johnson Eanes said four people were assaulted — three employees and a student — during the melee, in which windows were smashed, graffitied was spray painted on numerous windows, walls and doors, security golf carts were overturned and smashed, and desks and other office materials were stolen or destroyed.

“I am saddened, and I am angry,” Eanes stated in a message Thursday afternoon to the campus community. “For all those who sheltered in the Student Services Building, who had to leave in that chaos, thank you for being brave and resilient. Thank you for showing your professionalism and care – both for each other and for our students. I appreciate your care shown even to those who pursued intimidation and destruction.”

“To the three employees and one student whose assaults were reported (one as protesters gained entry to SSB, another as they were leaving, another who was surveying damage, and one accosted on a walkway) I am so sorry. Know that this will not stand.”

The pro-Palestinian encampment on the campus that has been there for 40 days must now vacate, she added: “The Encampment has crossed a line. Those in the Encampment must leave.”

The incident occurred after a group from the main encampment broke away to seize and thrash the building Wednesday evening before voluntarily leaving in the early Thursday morning hours. No arrests were made.

“Protesters … started piling up furniture, overturned golf carts and tables to create barriers in front of the Student Services Building and surrounding plaza. They also removed copy machines and furniture from inside the building to continue reinforcing the barricade late into the evening,” ABC 7 reported. “…The college was asking employees in the Student Services Building to shelter in place, while employees elsewhere on campus were instructed to leave.”

The Los Angeles Times reported the “building was deemed a crime scene by authorities and multiple windows were defaced with messages in red paint. Tables, hard-shelled umbrellas and rope still blocked the entrances and exits. … there was ‘significant damage’ on the first four floors of the student services building, including extensive graffiti and paint, as well as damage to equipment, walls and pipes.”

Early reports indicated university President Eanes and other administrators were held hostage within the building, but later an official claimed they voluntarily stayed behind in the barricaded facility to negotiate with the activists, the Times reported, citing a campus spokesperson.

The main pro-Palestinian encampment at CSULA — which has been up for 40 days — has yet to be booted from campus; it has a “fortified barrier around it,” and officials are working to activists to resolve the situation, the Times reported.

MORE: Violence erupts at another anti-Israel protest at UCLA; police arrest 25

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About the Author
Fix Editor
Jennifer Kabbany is editor-in-chief of The College Fix.