Los Angeles Police Call Off City-Wide Tactical Alert As USC Tensions Ease At Renewed Encampment – UCLA Update

UPDATE: UCLA also had a disturbance on Sunday, as demonstrators supporting and opposing Israel over the war in Gaza clashed.

The protests took place nar from where pro-Palestinian students have maintained a tent encampment for days.

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By late morning, a crowd numbering in the hundreds gathered on the grass at UCLA’s Dickson Court. No arrests or confrontations have been reported.

EARLIER: Police have now called off a city-wide tactical alert that mobilized resources as a USC pro-Palestinian encampment gained renewed strength Saturday night.

Tensions have eased this morning at USC, which saw protesters reestablishment an encampment at Alumni Park. Earlier last week, police had cleared a similar effort and arrested more than 90 people.

A tactical alert is used by police to beef up the force and redistribute on-duty personnel. It is done in anticipation of an event that may grow in strength and pose a threat to public safety.

School officials closed the USC campus on Saturday night, claiming campus property, including its famous Tommy Trojan statue, was vandalized. Access remains restricted today to all except residents and their registered guests, according to USC alerts on social media.

“Earlier Saturday, campus property — including the Tommy Trojan statue and a fountain in Alumni Park — was vandalized by individuals who are part of the group that has continued to illegally camp on our campus,” Joel Curran, USC’s senior vice president of communications, said in an emailed statement. “Despite repeated warnings, this group has also continued to disrupt our campus operations and harass students and others, in violation of numerous university policies.

“While the university fully supports freedom of expression, these acts of vandalism and harassment are absolutely unacceptable and will not be tolerated. President Carol Folt has made numerous attempts to meet with the students but they have declined these offers,” Curran wrote. “We are hoping for a more reasonable response Sunday before we are forced to take further action. This area is needed for commencement set up early this week.”

The school urged people to “please avoid (the center of campus) until further notice.”

The disturbances at USC are part of a national wave of similar protests at college campuses, including at UCLA and other state and private schools.

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