Cal Poly Humboldt closes campus as Gaza Camp takes over main hall

"Buildings are locked down and key cards will not work."

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC
California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt has announced that campus will be closed until at least Wednesday amid ongoing anti-Israel protests where students have created a Gaza Camp in the main hall.

The decision was made as demonstrators refused to leave a building they were occupying despite efforts from riot police to clear the scene.

"The campus will continue to be closed through Wednesday, April 24 for the safety of the campus community as protestors continue occupying Siemens Hall," Humboldt officials wrote in a notice posted to the university website Tuesday evening.

"Buildings are locked down and key cards will not work."

"Those who are able to work remotely will continue to do so," they continued. "Contact your supervisor for alternative work options. Your supervisor will contact you if you need to report to campus for work. In-person classes and activities are transitioning to remote where possible. Instructors should post course updates on Canvas."

What began as a simple demonstration in the hall on Tuesday quickly turned into an all-out occupation, with students using whatever they could find to block the doors to prevent officials and law enforcement from evicting them.

"No justice, no peace, no racist police!" they chanted from behind a wall of chairs. "What do we want? Ceasefire! When do we want it? Now! And if we don't get it? Shut it down!"

Officers in riot gear soon showed up, and while they managed to dismantle the barrier, protestors formed a human wall and refused to let them in. 

Eventually, officers moved in and a clash ensued, with one student bashing a member of law enforcement over the head with a large empty plastic water jug that had just seconds earlier been used as a drum.

"Get the f*ck out!" the mob of students screamed as they overpowered the officers and pushed them back.

The standoff continued for hours before police finally left around 11:30 pm, allowing the occupiers to remain in the building. As of Tuesday morning, they were still there.

Similar scenes have played out at universities from coast to coast, with Columbia announcing that it would be moving to hybrid learning to better deal with the disruptions on campus.

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