(Joel Pollak / Breitbart News)

WATCH: Activists Assault Breitbart News Journalist at UCLA ‘Palestine Solidarity Encampment’

LOS ANGELES, California — A group of about a dozen activists physically shoved this reporter out of the “Palestine Solidarity Encampment” on the campus of the University of California Los Angeles, a public university, on Friday.

Activists have encamped there since Thursday, when they set up barricades made of plywood and furniture scraps, and pitched tents. About 100 pro-Palestinian activists appeared to be inside the encampment as of Friday morning.

Breitbart News arrived to film and photograph the encampment, which is now surrounded by steel railings. Several other news outlets were present outside the encampment, including local TV news, the New York Times, and others.

Signs bearing a variety of slogans hung around the perimeter of the encampment, and within it, including “Queers for Palestine.” One banner read: “LAPD, KKK, IOF THEY’RE ALL THE SAME.” (“IOF” is a pejorative term for the Israel Defense Forces, or IDF, which anti-Israel activists sometimes refer to as the “Israel Occupation Forces.”)

An anti-Israel and anti-police banner hangs on an illegal barricade at UCLA called the “Palestine Solidarity Encampment.” Westwood, Los Angeles, California, April 26, 2024 (Joel Pollak / Breitbart News)

The encampment was guarded at two entrances by activists wearing fluorescent jerseys and kaffiyehs or KN95 masks, which were evidently distributed to prevent transmission of illnesses, but also to hide activists’ identities.

Activists in jerseys, masks, and keffiyehs guard the entrance to the “Palestine Solidarity Encampment” at UCLA, Los Angeles, California, April 26, 2024 (Joel Pollak / Breitbart News)

As seen in the video filmed by Breitbart News, one of the guards initially allowed this journalist to enter, provided a mask was worn and there were no peanuts or bananas introduced into the encampment (perhaps due to allergies).

However, after a few seconds, activists surrounded this journalist and attempted to obstruct filming. A group of about a dozen of them linked arms and pushed this journalist several times toward the entrance, in full view of the media.

This journalist addressed the members of the media filming and photographing the assault:

Freedom for Palestine does not mean freedom for Americans, evidently. These people are violating the United States Constitution, as well as the laws of the State of California, as well as committing common assault. I’m a member of the media, and a member of the public. I have every right to be at a public university. This is the First Amendment. And all of you [journalists] should be in there, refusing to let them assault journalists. This is a violation of the First Amendment. They claim they stand for freedom in Palestine, but they’re violating the most basic freedoms of the United States Constitution. I have a right as a member of the media — and, actually as a member of the public — to film what’s going on at a public university. Every single journalist should be in there, filming. You should be taking photographs. You should refuse to take lectures and to be pushed around by these undergraduates who obviously are confused about what it means to be a citizen of the United States.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom of the press, which has its widest scope on public property. UCLA is a public university and the encampment is in the midst of the most public space at the university.

California also has strong press freedom laws, such protections for journalists reporting during civil disturbances.

Two people stood nearby, holding a banner that said: “UCLA Faculty and Staff We Stand With Our Students.”

Two UCLA employees demonstrate in solidarity with students at the “Palestine Solidarity Encampment” at UCLA. One told Breitbart News that he was primarily there to stop students from being arrested. Los Angeles, California, April 26, 2024 (Joel Pollak / Breitbart News)

Asked whether they supported students physically assaulting members of the media, they refused to state a position.

The UCLA encampment is one of several that have been set up in recent days at universities, public and private, across the United States. Many have used explicitly pro-terror rhetoric, and some have targeted Jewish students.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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