Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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‘We’re not done’: UCLA student one day after encampment raid

Edward: I’m Edward Fernandez and this is a UCLA student who was here at the encampments. Can you tell us about it?


Student: Yeah, so about a week ago, we set up an encampment here at UCLA. We had certain demands asking the UC system to divest from investment in companies like BlackRock, Raytheon, Exxon Mobil, other commands like cutting academic ties with schools in Israel, stopping police surveillance of students on campus. And we’ve been keeping Palestinian solidarity for the entire week. About two nights ago, we had an attack from Zionist agitators and aggressive mob. And then on Wednesday night, the LAPD came in and swept up the encampment.


Edward: Could you tell us more about the attacks from the Zionist groups?


Student: Yeah, so this is on Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. Around 7 p.m., we had the regular Zionist agitators outside. They had the funds to bring in these huge speakers. They were playing music, layering sounds of babies crying, songs that they use, back on the ground in Gaza, psychological torture for their inmates, for the Palestinian hostages that they day take. And this went on for about three hours and around 10:30 [a.m.], a small mob of Zionist began to form. This is throughout like the night. I would say there were more than 40 people there. Some of them were wearing masks and some of them were in all black outfits. They were using different chemical deterrents on our people. Things that were illegal like bear spray, mace, pepper spray, throwing items at us like bricks, using metal pipes, wooden objects and police presence over there was minimal. And they did not get involved until a couple hours in.


Student: Right. Yeah. So one of our key ideals that we stand by as an encampment is that we keep each other safe and that has held true for the duration of the entire week and especially during the LAPD sweep a couple nights back. And the night of the Zionist aggressions we had cops show up standby idly—not do anything for a couple hours. No dispersal order was released for the Zionists. All they did was stand in formation and over the course of about an hour from 3 a.m. until four the Zionists did eventually disperse, but for the four hours before that, three and a half hours before that the actual attack, private security hired by the university like CSC, an Apex, they stood idly by just laughing. Some of them were scared rightfully so. The Zionists aggressors were quite violent.


Edward: Do you personally know anyone who was attacked or injured?


Student: Everyone at the encampment felt the impact of what was going on. I was there myself as a first aid responder and security. The air was thick. They had thrown fireworks into the encampment. So there was smoke. They were using different aerosols—like I said—mace and pepper spray and different chemical gasses that were you know—even if you weren’t directly sprayed, you were definitely feeling the impact of the spray.


Edward: What what kind of treatment did you provide?


Student: On the ground again, we had a couple medics who were helping us at the solidarity encampment and for pepper spray and for mace and for bear space that includes flushing out the eyes of water or saline solution, making sure that it doesn’t get back in their eyes or to their mouth. For those who had more serious injuries like lacerations, head injuries, we made sure that the medical professionals there were helping tend to them. For the longest time, we weren’t able to access EMS. We had to carry our people out for those who are severely injured. We had over 100 pepper spray injuries and about 25 hospitalizations from that first night.


Edward: How come you guys weren’t able to get EMS?


Student: I personally myself had to leave around that time so I can’t speak exactly to what was going on, but it was unsafe for the EMS to come close because the Zionist mob was being so aggressive.


Edward: Why do you think the police were hesitant to do their job?


Student: I’m not exactly sure. It does seem like they were not called on or allowed to come by the university until much later. We had people inside the encampment calling UCPD getting hung up on. It does seem to be an orchestrated effort. At least what I personally believe is that if the Zionists couldn’t wipe us out, LAPD came and tried to do it the night after.


Edward: Before this, have you guys been getting any static from these Zionist groups?


Student: We’ve had agitators showing up every day. Nothing as bad as Tuesday night, but we’ve had them drop off bags filled with mice. Drop off boxes calling them a gift for us, which we thought was a bomb threat. We’ve had them at all hours of the evening in the morning, yelling slurs at our people. Wishing rape upon our femme presenting security. Playing music until four a.m. making it extremely difficult for our people to get their rest. And then there are moments when we don’t have violent agitators and then the campus [is]peaceful. We have music jam sessions going on and different stuff like that.


Edward: Are these groups on-campus clubs, or what?


Student: We’re not exactly sure, but there were definitely students mixed in with the Zionists. Are you talking about—sorry—the Zionists?


Edward: Yeah, yeah, yeah.


Student: There are definitely students who have recognized people posting on their social media. There were a lot of them who are ex-IDF or IOF military wearing their jackets. A lot of them were adults. Most of them were older men—well into their 30s—who were coming onto campus not affiliated with UCLA, but still able to trespass and still not being written up for the violence that they were inflicting upon us on Tuesday night. Cops were there. Didn’t release dispersal. Didn’t arrest anyone. According to my knowledge, they didn’t write up anyone.


Edward: To the casual observer, they wouldn’t expect the college to be associated with foreign entities, right? Can you tell us some of their connections or speak more on it?


Student: Right. Yeah, and a lot of this information is already available online, but there are companies that UCLA has direct financial ties to—and investments. Like I mentioned earlier, Blackrock is an asset manager. They control a lot of the assets for weapons manufacturing companies. Exxon Mobil specifically, they have fuel contracts with Israel. Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin are companies that are able to come here on campus and recruit students at different events. And that’s how they’re directly related to what’s going on in Israel.


Edward: Now that the encampment has been busted, what are the plans now?


Student: We’re not done. As long there’s a genocide going on, as long as the UCs have not listened to our demands, as long as there are people who care—and I assure you, there are people who care—we’re gonna keep going. The momentum is still strong, spirits are still high.


Edward: Thank you so much.


Student: Thank you.


Edward: Appreciate that.


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About the Contributors
Edward Fernandez
Edward Fernandez, Staff Writer
Edward Fernandez is a staff writer for Talon Marks covering arts and entertainment and community news. Aside from reporting, Fernandez enjoys reading and hiking. He hopes to transfer to Cal State Fullerton in the Fall.
Emanuel Guadarrama
Emanuel Guadarrama, Co-News Editor
Emanuel Guadarrama is the returning news editor for Talon Marks, who’ll be covering any and all newsworthy events or stories on campus. When he isn’t working on his news section, he enjoys listening to various genres of music and reading. He also likes going on hikes, walking with his dog and spending time with his friends and family.
Joel Carpio
Joel Carpio, Managing Editor
Joel Carpio is the Managing, Co-Sports, & Co-Social Media Editor for Talon Marks, he enjoys playing sports, listening to music, and is an avid fan of the Dodgers, Lakers, Rams, Kings, and LAFC. He is planning on transferring to San Diego State University and earn his bachelors degree in Journalism. In the future he wants to be a sports broadcaster.
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