GABRIELLE CUCCIA: My coverage of UW's Gaza camp almost cost me my life

It was Saturday evening when I stumbled upon journalist Jonathan Choe's tweet, "This is ANTIFA's Super Bowl." He was referring to Sunday, May 12, the day that a march of Christians and Jews supporting Israel was scheduled to make its way through the Gaza camp at the University of Washington. 

Antifa, a terror organization that wants to kill our Constitutional Republic, had announced that it was targeting the event. I believe so strongly in protecting our Constitution that I felt compelled to see the event for myself.

I booked a flight to Sea-Tac to see the face of the destroyers of our American youth. 

The next morning I boarded a flight and arrived in Seattle, Washington. After I arrived at the campus, while donning a University of Washington t-shirt I was mistaken for a student, and let into the encampment. So be it. I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania; I'm no stranger to the indoctrination station of our education system. 

The encampment itself was a sight to see: tents, music, and goods were staged for the taking. Water, food, Zyns, even lip gloss was offered.

I scanned my surroundings and noticed the graffiti on the brick pathways within the encampment carried through the university's quad, tainting the buildings with words like “F*ck off Zionists” and “Free Gaza.” 

It reminded me of when I was in college being miscategorized as a white supremacist by my own peers and teammates on the UPenn track team simply for not partaking in the BLM marches in 2013.

I was quickly approached by a few young girls who urged me to record the number of a bail fund that would be of assistance should I be detained by police. I noticed that nearly everyone associated with this encampment had this number written down on their forearm in black marker. 

I spent approximately 4 hours in total within the encampment. 

It was not until I walked out of the encampment to film both angles of the “Liberated Zone” and about 5 Israel supporters left from the March for Israel earlier in the day, that I was attacked. 

I was standing between both factions of protestors - recording, and keeping to myself. 

A swarm of Antifa militants continuously verbally berated me while shoving their open umbrellas at me, striking with pointed ends. I asked them to stop, and told them I was there to "see both sides."

While asking them to stop, one of them, wielding a wooden bat, grabbed my phone, and instantly, a collective of male Antifa members reached for my forearm and pulled me into the metal barriers. All I felt were the hands of male ANTIFA members, while they screamed hysterics.

I am trained for combat and was able to wrangle myself away from them to continue filming. 

While filming they pelted me with 5 full Gatorade bottles. 

I remained firm in my position and continued to gather footage of them taking an Israeli flag, ripping it apart, and setting it on fire and they yelled in Arabic and taunted me. 

The next morning I went back to the encampment. I spoke with the lieutenant of the UW Campus Police and was told that most of the people -- in their estimate, at least 50 percent -- in the encampment were not students. I walked through the tents and peered through to see if there was any movement. I also checked for feet poking through the tents, but the majority were vacant. According to the police and my observation, these tents are unoccupied most of the time. Many of the Antifa militants and Hamas supporters show up to the so-called "Liberated Zone" only when there is a reason to be there, such as a counter protest.

Campus Police also told me that the university had instructed them to protect the Gaza camp and not let anyone through to focus on the safety of the encampment; not students who walk through the encampment on the way to class or dorms.

According to the officers, when the camp was initially set up, activists brought their own material to create barriers, but the university contracted the campus police to supply university-owned metal barriers in place of the "less-malleable" ones. 

Antifa activists refused to answer any of my questions and instructed me to leave claiming I was not allowed to record in a public place. Some of them even asked for my name and my social accounts. 

As I exited the encampment, I saw a new set of port-a-potties being installed, courtesy of the University of Washington.

Upon returning to Florida, I discovered that the number activists had written on their arms traces back to a local number in Washington. The voicemail greeting is the voice of a woman who stated the inbox is for "jail support." The line appears to have been created in April 2024, shortly before the encampment was established, as activist leaders made plans for the occupation of the Quad.

We now know many anti-American organizations are tied to these encampments: organizations made up of outside agitators who are not students. People who prey on the weak. Anarchists who don't just call for the end of Israel and the death of Jews but the destruction of America.

Those who chant death to America are giving life support to what our Founding Fathers warned us about. “Remember Democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes exhausts and murders itself. There never was a Democracy yet, that did not commit suicide.”

Gabrielle Cuccia is a journalist for DC_Draino Media and a former White House staffer.

Image: Title: gabrielle