Pro-Palestinian students at UCLA attacked a Lebanese Christian sharing the story of his grandparent's survival of the Armenian genocide for "white supremacy."
Police had to be called to a student event celebrating indigenous peoples Thursday evening, where members of Students for Justice in Palestine stormed the room and ripped down Armenian and Jewish flags.
Students Supporting Israel at UCLA hosted an event, "Indigenous Peoples Unite," bringing together three speakers from the Armenian, Jewish, and Kurdish communities to talk about "these peoples' efforts in battling controversy, oppression, and revisionism."
One of the panelists, Dario Ouliguian, a second-year UCLA linguistics major who is vice president of the Lebanese club, shared his perspective about being a descendent of a survivor of the Armenian genocide. Ouliguian also heads the Alan D. Leve Center for Jewish Studies Student Advisory Board.
Activists from the anti-Israel group Students for Justice in Palestine interrupted Ouliguian's story, with one student walking up to Ouliguian, ripping down the "mother f—king" Armenian flag, and throwing Ouliguian's notes away.
Other anti-Israel activists then surrounded the room, armed with blow horns and whistles, yelling, "Palestine will be free!" When a female student tried to diffuse the situation, the group only got louder.
"Israel is a terrorist state!" they yelled, and then took down the flag of Israel.
When Ouliguian tried to return to the microphone to talk about Armenia, the group started screaming, "F—k white supremacy!"
"I'm not white!" Ouliguian said.
Campus police were called to remove the protesters, who shut down the event and occupied the room for roughly 15 minutes.
When police began escorting them out, a white student yelled in front of several African-American police officers, "UCLA is on the side of racism! And the terrorist state of Israel!"
Students for Justice in Palestine organizers said they protested because the "event is false" because it did not feature a Palestinian speaker.
In the midst of the protest, one of the event's organizers said every one was welcome.
"We would like to continue with our event. You are welcome to take a seat and join us," a woman said. "We would like to have a conversation together."
The Students for Justice in Palestine students did not leave but remained in the hallway, banging on the door to the room, yelling, "From Palestine to Mexico, all the walls have got to go."
When the event finally resumed, the anti-Israel activists still tried to disrupt it. Whistles and shouts of "Free, free Palestine!" could be heard in the background.
"What I'm trying to do as an Armenian activist is to showcase to people that we are all human," Ouliguian said when he was able to continue his story. "And that no people are better than others because the second we start thinking that people are lesser humans than us, that is when atrocities in this world happen."
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