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PRESS STATEMENT: Catalyst California Calls for Safety and Care for Nonviolent Campus Protests


Media Contact:  
Ronald Simms Jr., Associate Director of Communications 
202-270-0936 or 

LOS ANGELES – In response to the violent attacks on and repression of pro-Palestinian protests at UCLA and campuses across California, Catalyst California President and CEO John Kim delivered the following statement:  

“California’s history as the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement is not just a point of nostalgia but a promise to this nation and the hope for a healthier, multi-racial democracy. Too many campus leaders have forgotten that the fundamental right for peaceful protest is as important a lesson to pass down to the next generation as history, math, or science.  

“At UCLA specifically, the vast majority of the pro-Palestinian protestors were non-violent in intent and in the face of brutal attacks by criminals. Attacking them with rubber bullets and mass arrests less than a day after allowing violent agitators to depart without consequences sends a terrible message – and echoes the similar suppression of protest at Cal Poly Humboldt and USC’s cancellation of a valedictorian’s speech because of her activism.  Whether speech is permitted, and whether violence is suppressed, cannot depend on viewpoint. 

“We call on LA’s leaders to aggressively prosecute the violent perpetrators from Tuesday night’s attack. We call on campus officials to immediately find ways to support those from the encampment. And we call on the leaders of the UCs, and public and private universities across the state, to ensure students’ ongoing safety and right to be heard.” 


Catalyst California advocates for racial justice by building power and transforming public systems. We partner with communities of color, conduct innovative research, develop policies for actionable change, and shift money and power back into our communities.