USC Pro-Palestinian Encampment Cleared Again By Police

Police in riot gear cleared yet another encampment on the campus of the University of Southern California early Sunday morning.

Reports indicate as many as 100 protesters pitched tents and erected banners at Alumni Park, located at the center of the university.

More from Deadline

Witnesses said officers moved in around 4 a.m. and quickly dispersed the protesters.

A statement issued by USC’s Senior Vice President of Communications Joel Curran confirmed the removal of the encampment. No arrests were immediately reported.

Encampments at USC have now been established and taken down three times, resulting in restricted access to the university. Disturbances grew in the wake of USC’s decision not to let a pro-Palestinian valedictorian speak at its main graduation ceremony. Some 93 protesters were arrested when the first encampment was cleared.

The USC actions mirror those at other campuses throughout the country. UCLA in particular was the scene of violent confrontations between its encampment and a pro-Israel attack, and then saw a massive police clearance.

Carol Folt, the USC president, said in a message to students and others on Friday that “there must be consequences” when people flout campus rules. She said the university had started the disciplinary process for people who had violated laws or campus policies.

Folt said that although the university valued freedom of expression, the protest had reached a tipping point.

“Free speech and assembly do not include the right to obstruct equal access to campus, damage property, or foment harassment, violence and threats,” Folt wrote. “Nor is anyone entitled to obstruct the normal functions of our university, including commencement.”

Best of Deadline

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.