UCLA tells protesters to take down tents
Bringing the Occupy Wall Street movement and student protests to Westwood, about 25 tents were set up Thursday on the UCLA campus. But officials said the encampment violated school rules and would not last long.
The tents were pitched on Wilson Plaza near the base of the landmark Janss Steps and about 100 or so demonstrators were reportedly gathered in the area. Authorities were studying ways to make sure the camp did not stay up and that school policies were followed, UCLA spokesman Phil Hampton said.
“The university does intend to enforce those policies,” Hampton said. “At this point, the conversations taking place are about how best to do that.” UCLA wants to balance the protesters’ right to free speech with the rights of the rest of the campus to be free of disruption, he said.
A Facebook page created by a group called Take Back UCLA says the encampment is in solidarity with similar efforts at other campuses and the goals include a campaign to “fight for increased revenue to the UC system and to foster solidarity between campus workers, academic student employees, lecturers, and students.”
Early Thursday morning, UC Berkeley evicted a small encampment on the campus’ Sproul Plaza and arrested two people. That was a relatively quiet operation compared with the confrontation last week at the same spot when dozens of protesters were arrested by baton-wielding police.
-- Larry Gordon
Photo: Screen shot of Take Back UCLA's Facebook page.