Pro-Palestinian protesters abandon barricaded building after chaotic night at Cal State LA

Jaysha Patel Image
Thursday, June 13, 2024
Pro-Palestinian protesters abandon barricade after chaos at CSULA
Extensive damage was left behind on the Cal State Los Angeles campus after pro-Palestinian protesters barricaded a building overnight.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Extensive damage was left behind on the Cal State Los Angeles campus after pro-Palestinian protesters barricaded a building during a night of demonstrations, reportedly prompting the university president to shelter in place in her office.

Protesters had already set up encampments in another section of campus more than a month ago. But on Wednesday, a group broke off and started piling up furniture, overturned golf carts and tables to create barriers in front of the Student Services Building and surrounding plaza.

They also removed copy machines and furniture from inside the building to continue reinforcing the barricade late into the evening.

By Thursday morning, the group had dispersed from the building, but they left behind significant damage outside and inside the building. Pro-Palestinian graffiti covered many windows on the ground floor, and video from inside showed shattered windows, more graffiti and debris scattered throughout.

Pro-Palestinian protesters at Cal State LA piled up furniture and created barricades in front of the building housing the campus administration.

The office of Campus President Berenecea Johnson Eanes, who was appointed last year and started this January, is on the eighth floor of the building.

Officials confirmed that less than a dozen school employees were inside the building and were asked to shelter in place, but they would not say if Eanes was among them.

There did not appear to be many campus police, or any officers from outside agencies, in the area during the barricade. LAPD told Eyewitness News they had not been asked to get involved.

The school referred to the group as "unauthorized protest activity."

Protesters say Eanes has been silent for about 20 days, adding they received an email from her this week, but she only reiterated what she's already told them.

"We're tired of being ignored so this is the tactic that we've chosen," said student protester Vera. "... We have folks that have chained themselves to the front door of the building. They will not unchain themselves until we have a commitment from the university president to divest university funds away from this genocide."

That protester said the group didn't know Eanes was reportedly inside the building, and that they were not keeping anyone inside, and those who were were allowed to leave whenever they wanted.

As for the damage left behind, Vera said they don't think property is sacred, adding the school receives money from student protesters yet they don't have a say about where that money is going.

Meanwhile, classes will remain remote until further notice and university events scheduled through Friday have been canceled.