Almost 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 an announcement explicitly condemning verbal and bodily violence in opposition to Palestinian college students, alongside a dedication to maintain them secure with sources developed in partnership with the Arab College students Affiliation, Muslim Scholar Union and different scholar organizations.
SJP urged the College to divest from firms 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. Almost 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. A lot of them coated their faces with sun shades, masks and scarves. Some audio system didn’t present names earlier than speeches resulting from 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 scholar security and psychological well being haven’t solely been uncared for but additionally harmed by one-sided statements by this college and an institutional help of struggle crimes.”
The Every day has reached out to the College for remark.
A Palestinian-American scholar spoke out in opposition to the homicide of a six-year-old Palestinian American boy who was stabbed 26 occasions in Illinois. The scholar 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 among us to be murdered for them to care?” she requested.
Singing chants like “Free, Free Palestine,” and “From the river to the ocean, Palestine shall 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 get up in opposition to many years of ethnic cleaning we’re known as antisemitic.” She emphasised that nobody, together with Palestinians, needs individuals to die.
One Jewish scholar 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 will not be numbers to be counted off a tv display screen,” Hafez mentioned. “Palestinians will not be people who find themselves silenced beneath the rubble after which forgotten in regards to the very subsequent day.”
Protesters additionally marched to Meyer Inexperienced, filling up a lot 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 through 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 is not going to 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 folks that you just thought you stood with and aligned with ideologically.”
At Meyer Inexperienced, different scholar organizations spoke in help of SJP. A Stanford Asian American Motion Committee consultant linked the battle to historic efforts in Asia to battle 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.”