Round 150 folks participated in a “die-in” organized by College students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) in entrance of Memorial Church on Thursday. The aim of the die-in was to mourn and honor the Palestinian civilians killed by Israeli air strikes prior to now month, in response to organizers.
Contributors known as on the College to take motion on the continuing Israel-Gaza battle, together with offering assets for Palestinian, Arab and Muslim college students and issuing an announcement that each denounces Israeli conflict crimes and requires a ceasefire. The U.N. Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk condemned the “collective punishment by Israel of Palestinian civilians” and “illegal forcible evacuation,” together with “atrocities perpetrated by Palestinian armed teams” on Oct. 7, as conflict crimes.
The organizers additionally advocated for divesting and boycotting Israeli ventures and educational establishments.
“The die-in’s symbolic,” mentioned one of many organizers of the die-in, who requested anonymity attributable to concern of bodily retaliation. “It’s folks laying all the way down to symbolize their useless brothers and sisters and siblings, like laying in solidarity.”
The demonstration occurred amid Israeli airstrikes and a floor invasion that has killed over 10,000 Palestinians as of Friday, in response to the Palestinian Ministry of Well being in Ramallah, primarily based on sources in Hamas-controlled Gaza. UNICEF expressed confidence within the dying toll.
Israeli retaliation adopted an Oct. 7 shock assault by Hamas that killed greater than 1,400 civilians and took over 200 hostages, in response to the Israel Protection Forces.
The die-in began at 2:30 p.m., when attendees laid down in a circle with area within the center reserved for 2 audio system. Over the subsequent hour, organizers learn the names of 630 Palestinian civilians who have been killed prior to now month, hailing from seven households.
Organizers purposefully selected to learn names so as of age from “great-grandparents to great-grandchildren” and separated by household to indicate attendees and the broader neighborhood that “whole residences and hospitals are being bombed indiscriminately,” one speaker, who didn’t share their identify, mentioned.
Contributors wore crimson, white and Stanford-branded garments, with some draping themselves in white cloths painted with faux blood. Some held greenback payments with blood stains and indicators that learn “Cease murdering children,” “Justice for Gaza” and “Stanford divest now.”
The organizer mentioned the die-in was held in Principal Quad as a result of “it’s type of what Stanford’s identified for.”
“When you search for photos of [Stanford] on-line, it’s Memorial Church, Hoover Tower, it’s the arcades — so, the die-in felt applicable right here,” the organizer mentioned. “Genocide looks like what campus stands for proper now.”
Sophie D’Souza, a first-year Ph.D. scholar within the Graduate Faculty of Training who attended the demonstration, mentioned she felt that the “abundance and … wealth and privilege” on Stanford’s campus “isn’t actual” and that there’s “a lot extra exterior of this bubble … this microclimate.”
“What’s actual proper now’s the struggling and homicide that’s taking place to harmless civilians and harmless Palestinians,” D’Souza mentioned. “I believe my being right here right now was a solution to honor their lives and to hold their legacy in no matter work … to make it possible for they’re by no means forgotten.”
The organizer mentioned SJP selected to honor Palestinian civilians via a die-in due to its inherent discomfort.
“You’re not imagined to really feel comfy. You’re not imagined to be glad to be right here. You’re not imagined to wish to be right here. This isn’t one thing that we should always need to do. Nevertheless it’s one thing that we do as a result of for those who don’t, no one else will,” the organizer mentioned.
Some individuals tied the die-in’s function to bigger targets of liberation for Palestinians.
“If I’m going to face for dismantling methods of oppression … in anywhere or area, then [this die-in] is unquestionably a part of that bigger motion in the direction of liberation,” mentioned Estefania Rodriguez Sanchez, a first-year Ph.D. scholar within the Graduate Faculty of Training.
Related demonstrations have occurred at Harvard, Cornell and Duke. At Stanford, the demonstration comes amid an ongoing three-week-long sit-in at White Plaza. Tons of of scholars and neighborhood members beforehand participated in a walkout and a rally.
“I believe that there’s energy in numbers,” mentioned Nallely Aceves M.A. ’19 and a first-year Ph.D. scholar within the Graduate Faculty of Training. “I really feel like we have now to make use of our platform to make it possible for we’re honoring those that have been subjected to violence. I believe it’s actually vital to … make it possible for as ancestors in coaching, we’re doing every thing that we will to plant seeds of resistance.”
The die-in ended with a second of silence for the greater than 10,000 different victims. Audio system closed the die-in by “imploring” attendees to not view these they honored “as 630 names however 630 folks with desires, aspirations and lives.”
One other organizer of the die-in, who additionally requested anonymity attributable to concern of bodily retaliation, urged attendees to “carry these conversations exterior” of the occasion.
“If there’s no one shouting for a trigger, then it goes unheard,” the organizer mentioned. “If no one’s combating for the folks of Gaza, then nothing modifications.”