Statement of the Undersigned Members of UCLA Art History Faculty in Response to the Attacks of April 30-May 2, 2024

We, the undersigned members of the Art History Department, are appalled by and condemn the University administration’s decision to authorize a brutal, militarized police sweep of the Palestine Solidarity Encampment during the early morning hours of May 1-2. In less than 24 hours, the university went from letting our students be attacked by a violent mob during the night of April 30 to May 1 to permitting a violent, armed crackdown that led to the arrest of over 200 peaceful protestors, largely UCLA students and employees.

Given the University’s failure to protect our students and colleagues’ right to peaceful protest and in the face of the administration’s decision to unleash police violence on the campus community, we hereby write with four demands. 

One, we call for Chancellor Gene Block’s immediate resignation. In addition to exposing our students to violence, Chancellor Block failed to accurately convey the events on the ground, by framing the encampment as damaging and disruptive. Contrary to what he claimed, protestors did not block access to buildings nor did they threaten the safety of our campus. Violence was brought to campus by mobs of counter-protestors and then by the police, both of which he allowed to happen. 

We also demand that the University immediately drop all charges against those who were arrested, and grant full amnesty to all students and employees for campus policy violations

Third of all, the University must recommit itself to the right of peaceful protest in our campus community. It is imperative that the University protect students and employees instead of sanctioning the continued presence of the police on our campus.

Finally, we ask that the University negotiate with the students around their demands with transparency and in good faith. In particular, we ask that UCLA respond to the students’ divestment demand. 



George Baker, Professor
Lamia Balafrej, Associate Professor
Tiffany E. Barber, Assistant Professor
Zirwat Chowdhury, Assistant Professor
Meredith Cohen, Associate Professor
Gregory Harwell, Associate Adjunct Professor
Hannah Kahng, Lecturer
Anna Khimasia, Lecturer
Saloni Mathur, Professor
Stella Nair, Associate Professor
David H. Schneller, Assistant Professor
Dell Upton, Distinguished Research Professor
Charlene Villaseñor Black, Professor
Lothar von Falkenhausen, Distinguished Professor
Glenn Wharton, Professor
Bronwen Wilson, Professor

(signature collection is ongoing)