Practically 1,000 individuals gathered at White Plaza on Friday in a rally to demand the College categorical help for Palestinian college students and opposition to Israeli retaliation in Gaza and the West Financial institution.
Throughout numerous speeches and a march from White Plaza to Memorial Church to Meyer Inexperienced, protestors known as for the College to explicitly acknowledge struggle crimes dedicated by Israel and the historical past of the Israel-Gaza battle, together with the 75-year-long occupation of Palestine.
Stanford College students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), who organized the rally, requested for a press release explicitly condemning verbal and bodily violence in opposition to Palestinian college students, alongside a dedication to maintain them protected with assets developed in partnership with the Arab College students Affiliation, Muslim Scholar Union and different pupil organizations.
SJP urged the College to divest from companies they mentioned revenue off the Israeli occupation of Palestine, like Palantir and Microsoft.
The rally comes amid Israeli airstrikes that killed greater than 3,000 Palestinians in Gaza and an ongoing siege that cuts off entry to meals and water. Israel launched its retaliation in response to an Oct. 7 shock assault by Palestinian militant group Hamas that massacred greater than 1,400 individuals. Practically 200 individuals have been taken hostage, Israeli authorities mentioned.
President Richard Saller and Provost Jenny Martinez condemned Hamas’ “deliberate assault on civilians” in an Oct. 11 e-mail that adopted a letter signed by dozens of school.
In an Oct. 19 e-mail to college students, Saller and Martinez expressed concern for security and wellbeing on campus. Based on the e-mail, the Stanford College Division of Public Security (SUDPS) is investigating “a number of incidents” on-campus associated to the “violence in Israel and Gaza.”
On Friday, leaders and organizers from SJP stood on the White Plaza stage. Lots of them lined their faces with sun shades, masks and scarves. Some audio system didn’t present names earlier than speeches on account of worry of retaliation.
College students crowded across the stage with Palestinian flags and posters that learn “your tax $$$ are funding genocide,” “cease the genocide in Gaza” and “stand w/Palestine.”
An SJP organizer opened the rally by saying a zero-tolerance coverage in opposition to all types of harassment and discrimination, together with antisemitism, racism and Islamophobia.
The organizer expressed frustration with the College statements: “Palestinian pupil security and psychological well being haven’t solely been uncared for but in addition harmed by means of one-sided statements by this college and an institutional help of struggle crimes.”
The Day by day has reached out to the College for remark.
A Palestinian-American pupil spoke out in opposition to the homicide of a six-year-old Palestinian American boy who was stabbed 26 occasions in Illinois. The coed went on to say that anti-Palestinian violence has traveled to Stanford’s campus, the place she says Palestinian advocates have been doxxed, harassed and bodily harmed.
“Does Stanford want one in all us to be murdered for them to care?” she requested.
Singing chants like “Free, Free Palestine,” and “From the river to the ocean, Palestine might be free,” protestors stuffed the width of Lasuen Mall as they walked to Memorial Church. Alumni, who have been on campus for homecoming weekend, stopped to take footage and movies.
Some chants drew criticism on the grounds that they have been antisemitic or an incitement to violence. Some political leaders criticized statements like “from the river to the ocean” as a name for Israel’s destruction.
A Palestinian speaker addressed the criticism: “when as Palestinians we arise in opposition to a long time of ethnic cleaning we’re known as antisemitic.” She emphasised that nobody, together with Palestinians, desires individuals to die.
One Jewish pupil delivered a speech calling for “anti-Zionist Jews” to help Palestine’s liberation.
Ronnie Hafez ’25, who’s Palestinian-American, inspired his friends to proceed to advocate for Palestine.
“Palestinians aren’t numbers to be counted off a tv display,” Hafez mentioned. “Palestinians aren’t people who find themselves silenced below the rubble after which forgotten in regards to the very subsequent day.”
Protesters additionally marched to Meyer Inexperienced, filling up many of the surrounding amphitheater.
For Ava DeConcini ’25, who stood within the crowd at Meyer Inexperienced, this rally was deeply private. Her grandmother was kicked out of her home at gunpoint in the course of the 1948 mass displacement of Palestinians, she mentioned.
DeConcini, who describes herself as white, mentioned she feels a robust obligation to advocate for Palestine, since she won’t face the identical repercussions as Arab college students for talking out.
She acknowledged the extent of polarization on campus: “I really feel like that is the primary time we’ve seen a battle break up good friend teams and other people that you simply thought you stood with and aligned with ideologically.”
At Meyer Inexperienced, different pupil organizations spoke in help of SJP. A Stanford Asian American Motion Committee consultant related the battle to historic efforts in Asia to combat western and Japanese imperialism.
Because the rally got here to a detailed, an SJP organizer mentioned they intend to “camp out in White Plaza to proceed to ask the College to guard Palestinian college students.”