UCSD Protests Continue, Calls for UC System to ‘Divest From Israel’

UC San Diego students and faculty formed a “walkout” this week to protest what they described as a “violent” dismantling of a “Gaza Solidarity Encampment” on campus.

“All people of conscience have woken up to the fact that the apartheid state of Israel, with total U.S. backing, is committing genocide against the Palestinian people,” UCSD lecturer Leslie Meyer said. “Our clear-eyed and courageous students, some with loved ones in Gaza where U.S. bombs are falling and famine is spreading, assembled to demand that their school end its complicity in this most serious of crimes.”

She went on to denounce officers who took down the encampment and arrested 65 people.

“From the River to the Sea, end UC complicity,” went one of the chants, referencing the common refrain “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free.”

Friday’s walkout followed a campus protest in which more than 1,000 people marched at UCSD as a continuation of the ongoing demonstrations in support of Palestine.

Faculty members at the university also signed a statement saying they “were shocked and outraged by UCSD’s decision to send riot police to arrest protesters on May 6. The militarized response has only chilled free speech, escalated tensions, reduced safety on campus, and destroyed the trust needed for negotiations and shared governance.”

Hundreds of graduate students signed a statement saying that “the decision to characterize the protest as non-peaceful and to deploy law enforcement to forcefully clear the encampment is an egregious violation of the principles of justice, equity, and freedom of expression that our institution claims to uphold.”

The protests occurred just one week after an encampment started by Students of Justice in Palestine (SJP) at the University of California Santa Cruz has demanded that the university cut ties with Jewish community organizations.

“UC Divest organized the rally, and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) of Santa Cruz, with the support of SJP National, are operating the encampment. Although the events were not  explicitly linked, there was overlap among participants, with the workers’ rally expressing unity with Palestine,” The City on a Hill Press, the student-run weekly paper at UC Santa Cruz, reported.

Students involved said they are calling for a “complete academic boycott,” and SJP demands that the California university, “Cut ties UC wide with all zionist organizations — including study abroad programs, fellowships, seminars, research collaborations and universities. Cut ties with the Hellen Diller foundation, Koret foundation, Israel Institute and Hillel International.”

“Three of the four organizations cited in the academic boycott demand by encampment activists at UCSC are Jewish charities and communal groups,” the Bay Area JCRC wrote on X.

“They are pillars of the Jewish community. This isn’t just about opposing Israel’s Gaza actions but seems aimed at Jewish institutions, revealing underlying antisemitism,” the Jewish group continued.