Earlier this week, some faculty members at the University of California, Los Angeles, had an emergency call with students who were active in the pro-Palestinian protests.

“We just got a really clear message from them: ‘We feel unsafe, and we’d like your help in fixing this,’” recalled Graeme Blair, an associate professor of political science.

In that moment, several dozen faculty activists volunteered to join the students in shifts around the clock at their encampment on campus.

And in the dark hours of Thursday morning, as the police cracked down on the protests, those faculty members were linking arms with students, allowing themselves to be arrested.

It was one of the clearest instances of a little-noted fact of the student demonstrations against the war in Gaza — that a small fraction of faculty members at U.C.L.A., Columbia and other universities have provided logistical and emotional support to the protesters.

Some faculty members have formal ties to Faculty and Staff for Justice in Palestine, the counterpart of Students for Justice in Palestine, a decentralized national network of pro-Palestinian groups.


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