Sunday, June 16, 2024

Palestine solidarity “Walk-Out & Die-in” attracts hundreds of protesters

NewsCampus NewsPalestine solidarity “Walk-Out & Die-in” attracts hundreds of protesters

KONNER METZ
Editor-in-Chief




MACAYLA COOK
Staff Reporter





Hundreds of protesters participated in a demonstration on campus Wednesday afternoon to show support for a ceasefire in Gaza and solidarity with Columbia University’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). 

The University of Delaware’s SJP chapter organized the protest, which began at Trabant University Center, made its way across The Green and ended at Graham Hall on Academy Street. Numerous UDPD officers were present throughout the afternoon.

Chants of “Ceasefire now,” “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” and “Gaza, Gaza, don’t you cry, Palestine will never die,” could be heard as the crowd of protesters trekked sidewalks and raised signs.

Pro-Palestinian protesters march down The Green Wednesday afternoon. Ethan Grandin/THE REVIEW

The chants did not exclusively regard solidarity with Palestine. Shouts of “Biden, Biden, you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide” rang out during the protest.

“Our goal for this demonstration is to show University of Delaware their complicities in the current Israeli colonization of Palestine,” a statement on SJP’s Instagram read.

The statement also listed four demands for the march: a ceasefire, “financial divestment” from corporations that “operate in … East Jerusalem,” increased investment transparency from the University of Delaware and protection for Palestinian people and their supporters on campus.

Students and protesters walk down the sidewalk of Academy Street, en route to Graham Hall, as part of Wednesday afternoon’s “Walk-Out and Die-in” organized by SJP. Konner Metz/THE REVIEW

SJP held a meeting earlier this week to organize support for Columbia’s SJP chapter after more than 100 students were arrested by the New York Police Department last week for protesting the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.

Students who put up tents at Columbia’s New York City campus were arrested. The University of Delaware’s chapter specifically instructed participants to avoid tents for that reason.

Once the “Walk-Out” portion of the march ended, protesters laid down outside of Graham Hall for the “Die-in” segment. The latter aimed to represent the dead bodies of Palestianians.

“At this point, it’s kind of despicable and horrendous what’s going over in Gaza and the fact that nothing’s being done by it,” a student protester going by Mikayla said.

Other campuses’ SJP branches across the country, such at UNC-Chapel Hill, organized protests in support of the Columbia students as well.

A participant lays down outside of Graham Hall with a sign that reads “STOP FUNDING GENOCIDE.” Ethan Grandin/THE REVIEW

Photo Gallery: University students, SJP protest for ceasefire in Gaza

One counter protester, who preferred to only share her first name, Lois, held a sign that read: “Freedom of speech – yes, harassing Jewish people and stopping traffic – no, hope you agree.”

“The students and people who are supportive of Gaza and are against the tremendous amount of killing over there, they have a point,” Lois said. “But I am appalled at seeing on TV some Jewish students being afraid to walk around their campuses and being afraid to wear a yarmulke.”

She also mentioned that she felt it was “not fair” of protesters at other universities to halt major traffic during the march. In Newark, cars were only delayed a few minutes on Academy Street as the march crossed the street.

Wednesday’s protest included a walk down East Delaware Avenue, where hundreds of participants chanted for a ceasefire. Macayla Cook/THE REVIEW

Since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel, estimates say that just over 34,000 Palestinian people have been killed. Over 1,200 Israeli people have died.

One protester, who preferred to go by Nyla, said she joined in on the protest due to similarities between the struggles of Palestianians and people in her Middle Eastern home country.

“I share the pain with them,” she said. “I’ve been raised in a community [where] we experience war every second. I know their pain. We share the pain of losing loved ones.”

Numerous staff and faculty members were also present at the protest. The University of Delaware provided a statement to The Review following the march.

“As a campus that welcomes diversity of opinion and embraces everyone’s right to freedom of expression, the University of Delaware is proud to support our students in our shared commitment to civility, respect and peace,” the statement read.

The University of Delaware also stated that police met with event organizers in advance.

As of Thursday afternoon, protesters remained present on the lawn of Graham Hall, home to the Biden School of Public Policy and Administration. A Thursday morning Instagram post from SJP said the “occupation” of the lawn will continue through Friday.

Protesters lay on the grass outside of Graham Hall. Larissa Veronica Heather/THE REVIEW

GET THE LATEST CAMPUS NEWS

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Check out our other content

Check out other tags:

Most Popular Articles