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Large pro-Palestine student walkout held on SDSU campus

Hundreds of students and others rallied and marched on SDSU campus.
Posted at 8:07 PM, Apr 30, 2024

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – A student walk out happened on the San Diego State’s campus on Tuesday afternoon calling for the university to divest from companies they say support Israel and showing solidarity for those in Gaza.

This follows a trend we've seen at college campuses across the U.S. and here in California.

Hundreds of SDSU students and others snaking through the campus on Tuesday hoping to have their voices heard.

“We want to fully divest from Israeli corporations that SDSU funds and still funds till this day,” Amena, an SDSU Student and pro-Palestine protester, said. “We have been asking. We have been talking to them about divestment for years at this point.”

San Diego State sent ABC 10 News the following statement, “As a public university, and as aligned with our institutional values, San Diego State University must allow for constitutionally protected free speech and an individual's right to acts of peaceful protest.

As a diverse campus community, this also means that those within our campus community will have varying values, ideas and points of view. We both expect and encourage all those within our campus community to engage in respectful conversations and interactions, as detailed in SDSU’s Principles of Community. SDSU does  [sdsu.edu]not accept any instance of harassment or discrimination. Additionally, university safety professionals and administrators from the division of Student Affairs and Campus Diversity continue to be in contact with members of our Jewish, Islamic, Arab, and Palestinian communities, in addition to other campus community members.

We strongly encourage all who choose to gather to adhere to laws and university policies. Additional information on the university’s policies related to the exercise of free speech are outlined on SDSU’s dedicated free speech webpage [sdsu.edu].”

The rally started at Hepner Hall just before 1:30 p.m. which gradually grew over time.

“It’s been increasingly influential and significant because that means we are united. We are here together. We are here for everyone’s liberation not just Palestinians,” Amena said.

According to the Students for Justice in Palestine at SDSU’s Instagramand organizers, this walkout and protest is meant to show support and stand in solidarity with the efforts to end oppression of the Palestinian people.

The post also showing support for the other protests that we saw on other college campuses.

“We respect every single student and their right to protest. We have seen universities historically being the beginning of activism,” Hammood, a pro-Palestine protester, said.

Many of the chants throughout the protest focusing on calling for a cease fire, calling for justice and peace amid the conflict and different actions and support from the university.

There was a small group of counter protesters in support of Israel at the rally but everything remained peaceful.

“Just the blatant that we’ve received. We decided to come out and show our support for Israel and that we are not going to stand for all of the hate we’ve received whether it’s on-campus, off-campus,” Michelle Avergoon, an SDSU Student and pro-Israel protester, said.

Protesters on both sides of this ongoing issue tell me they’re upset and demanding action for the discrimination that they’re seeing on campus.

“You know with all of these things going on, I feel targeted and I don’t appreciate that. That’s why we stand out here. Even though, it may not be the safest environment for me to stand out and be openly Jewish, I still do it because this is what I support,” Avergoon said.

“Not just regarding the genocide, we have seen the rise of Islamophobia and hatred all over the U.S. and even on our campus right here. And, even then, we have seen no direct support; no active way to stop," Hammood said.