Cops and Protesters clash this morning | Photos/Video: Andrew Goff

Here’s what the Outpost saw in Tuesday morning’s wee hours.

Just after 2:30 a.m., a column of law enforcement vehicles, including vans and buses, arrived on Cal Poly Humboldt campus carrying over 100 officers in full riot gear. With drones providing surveillance overhead, the officers immediately converged on the UC quad, dismantling protester-constructed barriers along the way.

With officers closing in, a group of between 20 to 30 protesters plopped down in a circle in front of The Depot. With other protesters and members of the media looking on, they chanted pro-Palestinian slogans and shared messages of love with each other one by one officers informed them they were being arrested, stood them up, zip-tied their hands, and led them off the quad. A few protesters lightly resisted by refusing to stand. Some were forced onto their stomachs so their hands could be bound.

With the arrests of the core group of protesters ongoing, law-enforcement set about moving back the rest of the crowd. Wielding poles and batons, the officers loudly repeated the phrase “clear the area” as they advanced on the remaining onlookers, pushing them from the quad toward the library circle driveway. Along the way, they checked the numerous tents between Siemens and Nelson halls for occupants, aggressively clearing them when they confirmed they were vacant.

Those who are arrested were led south, past the Van Duzer Theater, and down several sets of steps to Laurel Drive, where an area had been established in front of Gist Hall to process them. Officers took down their personal information and the medical team checked their vital signs before they were loaded up into one of several vans and carted away.

Officers on scene were unable to provide a count of just how many people have been arrested, but a few dozen seems a safe bet. Among those taken was Adelmi Ruiz, a television news reporter with KRCR’s Eureka bureau. By 4:45 a.m., just over two hours after the raid had begun, officers processed the last of the protesters. Other officers continued to patrol the campus, perhaps searching for stragglers.

Just after 7 a.m., Cal Poly Humboldt sent out the following statement:

On Tuesday, April 30 at about 0230, law enforcement began a series of actions to restore order on the Cal Poly Humboldt campus.

Law enforcement cleared and secured Siemens Hall and Nelson Hall East, as well as the area near those buildings. About 35 25 individuals were arrested, without incident. There were no injuries.

The operation was carried out by Unified Command, which is made up of law enforcement personnel from throughout the State of California under the leadership of Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal and University Police Department Chief Peter Cress.

At the time the operation was initiated, on-campus residents were advised by University text and emails to shelter in place. Others were directed to stay away from campus, which was already under a hard closure.

The operation’s objective was to establish control of the site; protect the rights, safety, and health of students and employees; eliminate the threat of violence and criminal behavior; and reestablish control of buildings and other property.

Those arrested faced a range of different charges depending on individual circumstances including unlawful assembly, vandalism, conspiracy, assault of police officers, and others. In addition, students could face discipline for conduct violations while any University employees arrested could face disciplinary action.

The University had made repeated efforts over the last week to resolve the situation. This morning’s enforcement action was determined to be necessary to restore order and to address the lawlessness and dangerous conditions that had developed.

What was occurring was not free expression or a protest. It was criminal activity, and there were serious concerns it would spread even further on campus.

The hard closure of the campus remains in place through May 10, and law enforcement is continuing to monitor the situation. For employees, your supervisor will contact you if you are authorized to be on campus.

Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal

“The law enforcement action at Cal Poly Humboldt was essential to reestablishing order on campus. When someone commits a crime and infringes on the rights of others, it becomes necessary for law enforcement to step in. I’m grateful to the agencies and officers who contributed to bringing safety back to our campus. I understand the widespread frustration caused by the campus closure, threatening behavior, and lawlessness we’ve witnessed over the past week. By restoring order, we’ve sent a clear message that the criminal and dangerous activities we experienced were not peaceful protests, but outright criminal behavior, which is unacceptable.”

University Police Department Chief Peter Cress

“The University Police Department is deeply grateful to the local and statewide agencies that lent support to our campus during this event. The support was critical in restoring an environment on campus where learning and work occur safely. UPD remains committed to a learning environment where everyone can be heard without breaking the law.”

Tom Jackson Jr., Cal Poly Humboldt President

“This is a difficult day, it breaks my heart to see it, and truly nobody wanted to see things come to this. We’ve all watched this with great concern, and always with the sincere hope that it would be resolved peacefully. Unfortunately, serious criminal activity that crossed the line well beyond the level of a protest had put the campus at ongoing risk. I commend the law enforcement team for their effort in resolving this very dangerous situation, and I’m incredibly grateful for the many agencies who advised us and who came to our aid in our time of need. I’m also very grateful for our many staff members who performed far and above their normal duties to help us protect the campus and maintain operations. Our focus for the entire time has been on doing all we could do to protect the safety of all involved, and we were very patient and very disciplined with that.”

More photos from the night below: