University students across the U.S. walk out of classes for Gaza

University of Virginia students walkout Photo: Dissenters via X

On Wednesday, October 25, students across dozens of campuses in North America staged walkouts in protest of Israel’s genocidal war against Gaza. The walkout, taking place at university campuses in the United States and Canada, was organized by the Palestinian Youth Movement. Dissenters, and Students for Justice in Palestine. The students demand an end to Israel’s siege on Gaza, an end to US funding of Israel, and that their universities divest from weapons corporations that supply the Israeli occupation.

Campuses participating in the walkout included Brown University, several City College of New York campuses, Florida State University, Howard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, McGill University, Stanford University, and the University of Chicago.

Students at the historically Black Howard University, located in Washington, DC, staged a walkout. As one student stated at the demonstration, “Our message to Joe Biden is that Howard University students, HBCU students, do not support the drastic and violent escalations that are happening now in Gaza. We want Biden to implement an immediate ceasefire, and we want Biden to stop giving unconditional military aid to apartheid Israel every year.”

At the Columbia campus in upper Manhattan, at least 500 students walked out of classes at 1 p.m. in a walkout organized by Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine alongside Jewish Voice for Peace, despite the intimidation tactics of zionists. Earlier in the day, a TV truck paid for by the far-right wing group Accuracy in Media circled the campus, broadcasting the names of students who have stood up against Israel’s siege on Gaza in some capacity with the label “Columbia’s Leading Antisemites.” Accuracy in Media is the same group that circulated a similar truck around Harvard’s campus, also doxxing pro-Palestine students.

Speaking from where students had gathered at the heart of the campus, a Palestinian student organizer with Columbia SJP said, “We’ve been getting death threats. There has been a truck going around with students’ faces and names, and people have been facing doxxing simply for speaking out in support of Palestinian rights. So that’s why I’m fully covered from head to toe.”

Earlier in the month, a self-identified Columbia University officer of administration had said about students protesting in solidarity with Palestine, “I hope every one of these people die.”

“We have yet to hear any concrete action about this, any statements [from Columbia],” said the Palestinian student, who wished to remain anonymous. “No concrete action has been taken to protect students. So until that happens, we have to keep covering ourselves.”

“I was too scared to come to class last week. People have been taking pictures of me,” said the student.

Assistant Columbia Professor Shai Davidai went viral for claims that pro-Palestinian student groups were threatening the safety of Jewish people on campus. After giving a tearful speech at a pro-Israel vigil on campus, Davidai took to X, claiming that “I pleaded with my employer to help me protect the lives of thousands of Jewish students from pro-terror student organizations who openly laud Hamas—an internationally recognized terrorist organization.”

“There are student organizations on my own campus who see my beautiful children as legitimate targets,” he continued.

Brooklyn College students also staged a walkout. “[Israel claims that] bombing hospitals and destroying mosques on the holiest days in Islam, killing little kids and maintaining an open air concentration camp is somehow keeping Jewish people safe,” said a student speaker and self-identifying anti-Zionist Jew at the demonstration, in front of dozens of students.

“British colonialists created the apartheid state to keep Jews as far away from them as possible,” he continued. “American imperialists send billions of bombs per year for the same reason. Do we really think these countries give a sh-t about Jewish people? The United States has never cared about the Jewish people. They sent ships full of Jewish refugees back to Germany during the Holocaust. Netanyahu shakes hands with neo-Nazis like Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell.”

Source: Peoples Dispatch

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