Healthcare professionals at UCLA protest alleging that police weapons caused injuries including bloodshed and bone fractures

The UCLA protest that gathered thousands in opposition to Israel’s ongoing bombing of Gaza escalated into a dangerous confrontation between protesters, counterprotesters, and law enforcement. Volunteer medics, including OB-GYN resident Elaine Chan and UCLA medical student Jack Fukushima, found themselves in a chaotic and violent situation as they treated injured protesters in a makeshift clinic with limited resources.

Chan described treating protesters with severe puncture wounds, likely caused by rubber bullets or other less lethal projectiles fired by police. The medical tents set up by the volunteers operated without electricity or running water, relying on a rotating team of doctors, nurses, medical students, EMTs, and untrained volunteers.

Fukushima witnessed police officers firing less lethal projectiles at protesters, resulting in serious injuries. Despite the escalating violence outside the tent, the medics worked tirelessly to care for the wounded, sometimes assisting them in walking to nearby hospitals or beyond the borders of the protest to seek further medical attention.

The use of less-lethal projectiles by police has raised concerns about the safety and consequences of these weapons. Critics argue that these projectiles, including rubber bullets, beanbags, and sponge-tipped rounds, can cause severe harm and even death. The events at the UCLA protest have sparked investigations by law enforcement agencies to assess the response and actions taken by officers.

The UCLA protest reflects a broader trend of using force against protesters on college campuses across the country. Student activists have been demanding universities take action in support of a ceasefire in Gaza or divest from companies associated with Israel. The clashes at UCLA have led to criticism of law enforcement’s handling of the situation and concerns about the use of less-lethal projectiles.

As the investigation into the UCLA protest continues, medical professionals like Elaine Chan, Jack Fukushima, and others remain dedicated to providing care for those in need, even in the face of violence and adversity. Their commitment to treating patients and prioritizing their well-being amidst chaos and conflict serves as a testament to their unwavering dedication to the principles of healthcare and humanity.

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