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Newsom, state leaders stay mum about pro-Palestinian protest at UCLA

As the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of California, Berkeley continue to grapple with chaos and unrest amid the growing pro-Palestinian protests on their campuses, state officials, including Gov. Gavin Newsom and those aspiring to replace him in a couple of years, remained silence as of Tuesday evening.

Governor Newsom’s office has yet to release a statement on the protests. When he was asked about the campus unrest during a news conference on a different topic, he said he and other officials were “working with the [UC] trustees.”

“We want to maintain the right to protest without any hate,” Newsom said.

Member of the UC Regents, including Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis and California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmon – both running for governor – declined NBC Los Angeles’ requests for comment. State Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas also declined to offer a statement on the campus protests. 

While Republicans put on the pressure, denouncing antisemitism on campuses, Newsom and his Democratic colleagues have a good reason to tip-toe around the issue, according to Jack Pitney, a political science professor at Claremont McKenna College

“If I were a Democratic party politician, I’d want to stay as far away from this as possible,” Pitney said. “If they support the students, there could be a demonstration with antisemitic references … If they support a removal of them from campus, it could result in over policing and be a very bad image.” 

When anti-war protests took place on UC campuses decades ago, Gov. Ronald Reagan, a Republican, had a different approach: He famously sent in the National Guard to UC Berkeley.

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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