UCLA Chancellor Survives No-Confidence Vote Prompted by Attacks on Pro-Palestine Protestors

More than four in 10 faculty members voted in favor of the no-confidence motion against UCLA Chancellor Gene Block, while 50% voted to censure him.

UCLA Chancellor Survives No-Confidence Vote Prompted by Attacks on Pro-Palestine Protestors

Image via Adobe, by wolterke

UPDATE MAY 23, 2024: UCLA has named Gawin Gibson as acting chief of its police department after Chief John Thomas was “temporarily reassigned” pending an examination of the school’s security processes, according to a statement by Mary Osako, UCLA’s vice chancellor of strategic communications.  Thomas is facing intense criticism for the school’s slow response to violence that erupted after counter-protestors attacked a pro-Palestine encampment.

ORIGINAL MAY 21, 2024 ARTICLE:

LOS ANGELES – The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Academic Senate rejected censuring Chancellor Gene Block and a motion of no confidence against him on Thursday.

More than four in 10 faculty members, or 43%, voted in favor of the no-confidence motion, while 50% were in favor of  a separate resolution to censure Block, reports the Daily Bruin.

The votes were in response to the school’s handling of the violent April 30 attack by counter protestors of a pro-Palestine encampment on campus. Encampment organizers say that at least 25 protestors were transported to local emergency rooms after the attack, reports ABC7.

For more than three hours, the counter-protestors threw objects, sprayed pepper spray and launched fireworks at the camp and the pro-Palestine protestors who were inside. Some of the counter-protestors attempted to get inside the encampment, and the pro-Palestine protestors used pepper spray to defend themselves. There were many fights and altercations.

Police eventually moved in to break up the fracas at about 3 a.m.

Attacks Mostly Committed by Outsiders, Not UCLA Students or Faculty

CNN reports that it reviewed footage of the attack, as well as social media posts and interviews, and found that some of the most dramatic attacks caught on camera were not committed by the UCLA students and faculty who were arrested, but by outsiders.

Block has vowed to investigate the instigators, calling the attack “a truly despicable act.” Additionally, UCLA announced the creation of the Office of Campus Safety to oversee policing and emergency management.

The pro-Palestine protestors are calling for their institutions of higher education to divest from organizations they believe are helping Israel conduct the war, including companies that make weapons and Israeli companies. Protests and encampments demonstrating against Israel’s military actions in Gaza have been springing up on college campuses across the nation and internationally since mid-April.

Both sides of the Israel-Hamas war face allegations of war crimes. International Criminal Court (ICC) chief prosecutor Karim A.A. Khan announced on Monday that he is applying for arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant, as well as Yahya SINWAR (Head of the Islamic Resistance Movement (“Hamas”) in the Gaza Strip), Mohammed Diab Ibrahim AL-MASRI, more commonly known as DEIF (Commander-in-Chief of the military wing of Hamas, known as the Al-Qassam Brigades), and Ismail HANIYEH (Head of Hamas Political Bureau).

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About the Author

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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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