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Police arrest pro-Palestinian protesters occupying building near UC Berkeley

Police arrest pro-Palestinian protesters
Police arrest pro-Palestinian protesters: Law enforcement officers observe pro-Palestinian protesters after setting up barricades in Berkeley, California, on May 16, 2024. A group of protesters occupied the abandoned Anna Head complex near People's Park. (Grace Marion/Bay City News)

By Peninsula 360 Press with information from Bay City News.

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On Thursday night, police arrested 12 pro-Palestinian protesters on suspicion of theft, vandalism and conspiracy, who had occupied an abandoned building near the University of California, Berkeley on Wednesday.

Dozens of law enforcement officers set up barriers around the Anna Head complex, near People's Park, and at around 6:50 p.m., after issuing a dispersal order, police broke down the building's door.

Shortly afterward, police began making arrests and expelling protesters from the building.

“We are treating this for what it is, and it is a crime scene,” said UC Associate Vice Chancellor Dan Mogulof.

Police arrest pro-Palestinian protesters
Law enforcement officers monitor detained pro-Palestinian protesters occupying the abandoned Anna Head complex near People's Park in Berkeley, California, on May 16, 2024. (Grace Marion/Bay City News)
Police arrest pro-Palestinian protesters
Law enforcement officers arrest a protester after issuing a dispersal order against pro-Palestinian protesters occupying the abandoned Anna Head complex near People's Park in Berkeley, California, on May 16, 2024. (Grace Marion/Bay City News)

Campus officials allege that some of the protesters used crowbars to assault officers and many resisted arrest, so additional charges may be filed in the future, according to Mogulof.

Law enforcement agencies on scene Thursday included officers from more than 20 different agencies, including UC Berkeley, Oakland, Alameda and San Mateo, Pacifica and San Francisco counties.  

Some protesters behind the barriers chanted and taunted police officers in line, while many others simply filmed the scene with their cellphones. Local residents stood behind the watching protesters, while others asked the police for directions to get home past the barricades.

Police arrest pro-Palestinian protesters
Law enforcement officers remove a protester after issuing a dispersal order against pro-Palestinian protesters occupying the abandoned Anna Head complex near People's Park in Berkeley, California, on May 16, 2024. (Grace Marion/Bay City News)

Chants of “Free, Free Palestine” periodically filled the air as the sound of a battering ram sounded from the entrance of the building.

On Wednesday, some protesters entered the building on Haste Street between Telegraph Avenue and Bowditch Street to protest the ongoing Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip, which was launched in response to a large-scale terrorist attack in October 2023.

Occupants accessed the building through square holes in the surrounding fence to occupy it, while most protesters occupied the grass area outside the fence. Protesters inside the fence erected banners and painted slogans on the building with red paint 

“The suspects blocked the north entrance to Anna Head with plywood and shields; “They violently resisted arrest, used crowbars to hit officers, and used their hands to resist arrest,” Mogulof said in an email.

Law enforcement officers at the Anna Head complex near People's Park after clearing pro-Palestinian protesters occupying the abandoned building in Berkeley, California, on May 16, 2024. (Grace Marion/Bay City News)
Law enforcement officers watch as pro-Palestinian protesters set up barricades in Berkeley, California, on May 16, 2024. A group of protesters occupied the abandoned Anna Head complex near People's Park. (Grace Marion/Bay City News)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“This is Hind Hall [sic],” one graffiti read, referencing the occupation of Hind's Hall at Columbia University. Hind's Hall was unofficially renamed Hamilton Hall during April protests in New York City by pro-Palestinian protesters in honor of a 6-year-old girl, Hind Rajab, who died in the Gaza conflict.

The occupation of the building on Wednesday prompted a response from both police and UC Berkeley, who posted a WarnMe notification at 7:06 p.m. indicating that several dozen people with clubs, crowbars and bolt cutters broke into the building and broke windows. , they cut down fences and spray-painted walls.

The Anna Head building has remained unused and boarded up since a fire in 2022.

 

Law enforcement officers remain on scene after pro-Palestinian protesters occupying the Anna Head complex were evicted from the abandoned building near People's Park Berkeley, California, on May 16, 2024. (Grace Marion/Bay City News)

You may be interested in: Stanford University Students Raise Their Voices to Demand Ceasefire in Gaza

Peninsula 360 Press
Peninsula 360 Presshttps://peninsula360press.com
Study of cross-cultural digital communication

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