Pro-Palestinian protesters take over Cal State LA building, leaving damage and graffiti

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — A takeover of a building at California State University, Los Angeles, by demonstrators protesting Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza ended early Thursday, leaving the facility trashed and covered with graffiti, TV news reports showed.

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators barricaded the multistory Student Services Building on Wednesday and workers inside were told to shelter in place, but it was empty by Thursday morning, said university spokesperson Erik Frost Hollins.

“What I can tell you, at the moment, is that the building is clear of employees and protesters and the building is secure,” said Frost Hollins, who did not immediately offer details on what occurred overnight.

The university posted a “protest action alert” on its website announcing that all main campus classes and operations would be remote until further notice and asking people to stay away.

Images from the scene showed graffiti on the building, furniture blocking doorways and overturned golf carts, picnic tables and umbrellas barricading the plaza out front.

The CSULA Gaza Solidarity Encampment, a group that has camped near the campus gym for about 40 days, sent an email indicating that members were staging a sit-in in the building, Hollins said.

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