UCLA protesters equipped with heavy tools, planned to occupy building, police say

ByABC7.com staff KABC logo
Thursday, May 9, 2024
UCLA protesters had plan for 'violence and vandalism,' police say
Protesters who were arrested at UCLA Monday had bolt cutters, super glue and other items that indicated a plan to vandalize and occupy a building on campus, police say.

WESTWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- A group of 44 protesters who were arrested on UCLA's campus early Monday were equipped with bolt cutters, super glue, padlocks and other items that indicated they intended to vandalize and occupy a building on campus, police said Wednesday.

The stunning new details were brought to light in a UCLA police statement which indicated the group was also carrying printed materials such as "The Do-It-Yourself Occupation Guide" even as social media posts were calling for occupation of the school's Moore Hall.

The 44 people who were arrested included 35 UCLA students and nine people not affiliated with the school. Forty-two of them were arrested for conspiracy to commit a crime and two for obstructing a peace officer. Four members of the group had also been previously arrested for failing to disperse when authorities cleared the encampments on May 2.

The police statement does not indicate what cause the group was supporting but there have been ongoing pro-Palestinian demonstrations on campus, and at least one night of clashes involving counter-protest groups.

43 protesters arrested at UCLA, as school shifts classes to remote for the week

Forty-three protesters were arrested on the third floor of a UCLA parking structure for "conspiracy to commit burglary," authorities said Monday.

'Violence and vandalism'

The arrests - and two related incidents nearby - unfolded just before 6 a.m. Monday.

Police were notified of a large group of people at the school's Parking Structure 2. When campus police showed up, they found a group of about 40 people who were wearing masks and carrying metal pipes.

After detaining the group with zip ties, officers discovered they were in possession of various tools, including heavy-duty metal pipes, bolt cutters, epoxy adhesive, super glue, padlocks, heavy-duty chains and "documentation encouraging violence and vandalism."

Police say the group had formed a plan to break into and occupy Moore Hall.

As the group was being detained, there was another group of about 30 people already inside Moore Hall and police discovered that a UCLA student group was calling for people to occupy the building. Police repeatedly announced the building was closed and everyone inside had to leave and eventually, roughly 60 people exited the building.

It is believed the same group then marched to Dodd Hall later that morning and created a disturbance that interrupted midterm exams. More protesters were outside and eventually they all marched to Bruin Plaza and eventually scattered.


After the arrests, which came after days of turmoil on campus, the school declared all classes would shift to remote learning for the week. Students had been preparing for midterms.

Royce Hall and Powell Library would remain closed for the week.

"Due to ongoing disruption, the campus has returned to limited operational status," the school announced in a BruinAlert. "Therefore, per Senate guidance, classes will move remote May 6-10. Employees who can work remotely should consult with their supervisors. Events and research activities should also go remote or be rescheduled wherever possible."