Pomona College students arrested after protest; demonstrators then move to Claremont police station

Eric Resendiz Image
Saturday, April 6, 2024
Students arrested after protest at Pomona College
A group of college students were arrested after a protest that started at Pomona College ended at the Claremont police station.

CLAREMONT, Calif. (KABC) -- A group of college students were arrested overnight after a protest that ended at the Claremont police station.

The students were part of a large group of protestors that first gathered for a sit-in demonstration at nearby Pomona College Friday night, according to the group Pomona Divest Apartheid that apparently organized it.

The protest was sparked by the removal of a apartheid wall supporting Palestine on the campus. The installation art piece consisted of eight wooden panels that were hand-painted by students with phrases and images.

Hundreds of students protested in front of Alexander Hall, where the wall was located. That's when police in riot gear showed up and detained several demonstrators.

Police contacted a spokesperson with the protesting group "and with our coordinated efforts, we were able to gain compliance with about half the protesters inside the building, who left on their own free will," the Claremont Police Department said in a statement.

"Basically, they decided to start arresting all of us if we would not leave, claiming that we could peacefully protest otherwise... that this was not a peaceful protest, even though we were just sitting calmly in a room not doing anything else ," said Krasi, a protester who was detained by police.

"The remaining protesters were given multiple lawful orders and adequate time to leave the building by school administration, campus safety personnel and Claremont PD officers, but they still refused to leave," police said. "At the request of the school's administration, a total of nineteen arrests were made for trespassing."

One additional arrest was made for alleged obstructing/delaying of an officer.

All of the individuals in custody were transported to the Claremont Police Department Jail, where they were booked and released with a written promise to appear, the news release said.

After the arrests, the protest moved to Claremont police headquarters and lasted several hours.

AIR7 HD was over the scene of the protest outside of the police station around 10:30 p.m. No arrests were made during the protest at the station.

In a statement, Pomona College said: "We uphold the right to free speech and to protest within the lines of our long-established Claremont Colleges demonstration policy. We will not permit the presence of masked, unidentified individuals on our campus refusing to show identification when asked. Nor will we stand for harassment of visitors or racial slurs shouted at college employees - all of which have taken place this week. Anyone involved in these violations found to be a Pomona student is subject to immediate suspension and required to leave our campus."