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Iowa State Daily

‘We are all Palestinians’: Free Palestine demonstration held outside Parks Library

 

Editor’s note: Lu chose not to provide a last name.

Students and community members gathered outside Parks Library on Wednesday for an “ISU Students for Gaza” demonstration to demand Iowa State’s support for Palestine, which resulted in interaction with pro-Israel attendees.

Members of the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) joined Color of Love, a student organization, to speak out against the Iowa Board of Regents’ support of the Israeli government and Iowa State’s partnership with defense contractors.

In a petition being circulated by organizers, the groups listed the following demands for Iowa State University and university President Wendy Wintersteen:

  • Divest from companies and programs supporting and arming Israel, including but not limited to – Boeing, Collins Aerospace, Lockheed Martin and the Binational Science Foundation
  • Full transparency of all university financial partnerships, investments and donations
  • Release a statement of solidarity with Palestine and their liberation

During the demonstration, attendees stood together with signs and Palestinian flags to hear from speakers from the PSL and engage in chants led by organizers.

Some chants included:

  • Free, free, Palestine
  • From to river to the sea, Palestine will be free
  • ISU, what do you say? How many kids did you kill today?
  • In our millions, in our billions, we are all Palestinians
  • Resistance is justified when people are occupied

Delaney Graef, a sophomore in forestry, told the Daily she felt it was her “moral obligation to speak out” in support of Palestine.

In recent days, student protests and encampments in support of Palestine have popped up on college campuses across the country, with some being met with a police response.

Lu, a member of the PSL, spoke to the Daily about his opinion on the police response against students.

“The university system has long been known for free speech,” Lu said. “But, as we’re increasing this… we’re seeing an intense fascist response to our protected protest themes. These are protestors who are not engaging in violence but they’re rather reacting to the violence of the police.”

Iowa State students ‘show up in solidarity’

Lyric Sellers, a sophomore in communication studies and treasurer of Color of Love, shared some takeaways from the demonstration.

“It just reiterates the fact that the power lies within the people,” Sellers said. “[They] are liberating each other’s voices and just taking a stand on things.”

Duncan Burnett, another member of the PSL and graduate of Iowa State, told the Daily about his thoughts on the demonstration.

“I think we’ve had an excellent turnout,” Burnett said. “People are quite energized. There’s a good variety of speakers… I hope the movement will grow and I imagine this is only the start.”

Bela Banegas, a senior in data science and member of Color of Love, told the Daily that she felt it was “disheartening to see that people can really disagree with something as simple as [the lives] of innocent children.”

“Something that I noticed with the counter-protesters is they choose this as a time to discuss and show resistance,” Banegas said. “But we have been holding conversations. We’ve been holding town halls. We’ve been advocating for this stuff and they just choose to show up when they can get their face in the picture.”

Professor ‘not intimidated’ by demonstration alongside other students

Along with pro-Palestine demonstrators, several people in support of Israel were also outside Parks Library.

Kirill Tuchin, a physics professor, told the Daily he attended because he was “not intimidated” by the pro-Palestinian demonstrators, as he held up the flag of Israel.

“We believe the truth is that Israel has a right to exist and the terrorists have no right to exist,” Tuchin said. “We believe that Israel is being victimized here by the terrorists… they don’t want free Palestine, they want to be free from Jews.”

Some attendees at the demonstration in support of Israel verbally clashed with student demonstrators as they stood near the entrance of Parks Library.

Lochland Monahan, an Iowa State graduate, engaged in debate with multiple members of the PSL during the demonstration, asking “how do you plan on freeing Palestine?”

“You have a group of people wanting to be included in what’s going on, but completely unaware of the implications of ‘Free Palestine from the river to the sea,’” Monahan told the Daily. “The only way to accomplish that is the elimination of the Jews.”

Michael Cook, a graduate student in agronomy, was outside Parks Library to support Israel.

“I came here today because this is all out of ignorance,” Cook said. “This was never an issue until it involved Jews. There was no protests when Syria was bombing its own. There was no protests when Jordan was involved in fighting. There’s no protests about Yemen.”

Cook also spoke about the events of Oct. 7 and said he felt the demonstrators were, “on the wrong side of this.”

View Comments (34)
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Comments (34)

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  • M

    Michael Dandorf | May 9, 2024 at 11:08 am

    If past protests are guidance every one of the protesting people will be identified masks and head covering not withstanding. The group had been monitored. Some of the protesters are actually security agents.

    Reply
  • D

    David Jackson | May 2, 2024 at 9:08 pm

    “Members of the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) joined Color of Love…”

    Aaaand that explains it. The same network of neo-socialist agitators who prove themselves easily manipulated into amassing and chanting slogans every time the operative prompt shows up on their smartphone. It explains herd mentality, the number of covid masks (outdoors no less) worn by a combination of the clinically anxious and those hiding their identity because they’re political agitators and not even enrolled students, and the mindless regurgitation of moralizing appeals to emotion meant to do more to make the regurgitator feel smug than to intelligently address the issue.

    “The university system has long been known for free speech,” Lu said. “But, as we’re increasing this… we’re seeing an intense fascist response to our protected protest themes. These are protestors who are not engaging in violence but they’re rather reacting to the violence of the police.”

    Lol! Trespassing is not free speech or peaceful protest. Neither is occupying buildings and disrupting other’s ability to do what they paid to be able to do there. The definition of fascism isn’t whatever consequences are faced in the real world for being a childminded supporter of communism. But then again this is probably someone who simply labels anyone who doesn’t support the currently trending moralizing internet slogan a fascist, while demanding we give a central government all the power.

    I find it interesting none of the protestors seem to condemn Hamas for attacking Israel in the first place. I find it equally interesting there weren’t protests and calls to “stand in solidarity” about all of the even larger death tolls reached from the violence going on Yemen and Syria for the last decade. Almost like they don’t really care about lives lost, and just want to appear morally superior while denouncing a western country for not caving in to its violent enemies.

    Reply
    • B

      Bruh | May 2, 2024 at 11:19 pm

      Ain’t readin alldat

      Reply
    • M

      M | May 3, 2024 at 10:39 am

      When asked directly “do you condemn hamas?” the pro-pal agitators outright said no, that they do not condemn them and instead support them.

      Reply
  • K

    Kevin Hickman | May 2, 2024 at 6:31 pm

    How about ISU divest from ignorant students

    Reply
  • A

    AgnosticismEnjoyer | May 2, 2024 at 4:12 pm

    Hamas controls Palestine and was voted in democratically by the Palestinian people.

    In 1988, in Hamas’ founding organizational documents, they state:

    “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”

    This is the governing body that the people of Palestine chose as their leader. Those chanting “From the river to the sea” need to understand they are reciting a war chant that calls for genocide.

    Reply
    • R

      Ro | May 2, 2024 at 7:21 pm

      The phrase “From the river to the sea..” is deemed as hate speech against the Jewish people only when it’s an act of resistance against what they have been preaching since 75 years!. The phrase it self is the reason why Israel exists illegally (by international law) today. As In the old testament “God” supposedly promised them a land. In Genesis 15:18, God expands on that unconditional promise: “To your descendants I have given this land, From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates”. Then, in Genesis 17:8,:“The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you.”
      And based on that biblical promise million of Palestinians were kicked out and massacred in thousands since 1948 until today. And they face all kinds of torture and discrimination today in an attempt to force to leave the land.
      And Hamas by the way, was formed in late 1987 in the first intifada (revolution) against the atrocities of the Israeli government against innocent people (do you research). they are only a reaction, a resistance against the main issue of the illegal occupation of Palestine. The occupation that is based on a religious belief by a group of people that is forced upon everyone. Accept the belief and leave the land. Or deny it and you’ll pay the price, and if you resist it you are deemed as terro!st machine???

      Reply
      • L

        Lochland | May 3, 2024 at 1:47 am

        YES KILLING 1500 INNOCENT CIVILLIANS AT A PEACE THEMED MUSIC FESTIVAL, TORTURING CAPTURED JEWS & FILMING THEIR TORTURE IS TERRORISM.

        PS Using words like “Atrocities, torture, and discrimination without connecting it to an event makes it hard to take you seriously. Show me evidence of an Israeli soldier torturing or sexually assaulting a woman. HAMAS MADE PROPAGANDA VIDEOS OF SEXUALLY ASSAULTING JEWISH WOMAN AND BURNING CHILDREN IN THEIR CRIBS… THOSE ARE ATROCITITES.

        Reply
      • A

        AgnosticismEnjoyer | May 3, 2024 at 2:49 am

        Your claim of “ideological motivations” of the organization are not relevant to the fact that they state goals of genocide in their founding documents. Past geopolitical or militaristic problems also do not justify this. Was Hitler justified in creating the Third Reich after Germany was shattered after they had territory split? I would hope your answer is no.

        Have you read the quote I initially provided? This document is publicly accessible information. Do you not consider Hamas to be a terrorist group? If so, why do you not object to the actions of Hamas? Do you believe they should remain in power?

        Reply
    • O

      ObjectiveMoralsEnjoyer | May 2, 2024 at 7:36 pm

      A person with subjective morality making an absolute moral claim. Man doesn’t even know his epistemology

      Reply
      • A

        AgnosticismEnjoyer | May 3, 2024 at 2:32 am

        Nothing I said in my original post is an “absolute moral claim”. It is not opinionated, except for this which I will address:

        “From the river to the sea”. What is the implication of this statement? Where do you suppose the people in this region go? Are they to be killed? That’s clearly what Hamas wants.

        It does not matter if the organization was “reactionary” or supposedly fighting some noble. Have you read the quote of which I originally posted? This document is publicly available. Do you not believe Hamas is a terrorist organization?

        Am I saying that Israel has done nothing wrong? No.

        But is the solution to the problem to support the elimination of one democratic state by a terrorist organization? Absolutely not.

        Reply
  • J

    Joe | May 2, 2024 at 11:30 am

    The article should mention the record breaking amount of 7 Zionist protesters

    Reply
  • R

    Rhondi Ewing | May 2, 2024 at 10:54 am

    No mention of the hostages currently being held? Perhaps if Hamas/Palestine released them, Israel could stop what they are doing. Just a thought.

    Reply
    • D

      DW | May 2, 2024 at 11:21 am

      100%

      Reply
    • A

      Anti Zionist | May 2, 2024 at 11:24 am

      Pretty sure they were releasing them but Israel couldn’t stop committing war crimes. Also one wrong doing doesn’t justify other… you don’t level hospitals, schools, and sewage buildings due to a hostage situation

      Reply
      • K

        Kevin Hickman | May 2, 2024 at 6:38 pm

        Perhaps the gutless cowards of Hamas should stop using their civilians as human shields and hiding in hospitals and schools?

        Reply
  • S

    Somebody Else | May 2, 2024 at 10:47 am

    We should not forget how Hamas instigated this war. I agree that Israel’s response is heavy-handed, but they have every right to defend themselves against the terrorist acts of Hamas and others who would seek their destruction. Hamas is also guilty of those very things Israel is being accused of, and worse.

    Nor should we forget that Hamas continues to resort to underhanded tactics such as holing up in hospitals to make it as difficult as possible to prevent civilian casualties.

    Reply
    • L

      lol | May 2, 2024 at 11:10 am

      There’s a difference between defense and genocide. Palestinians have no food, no clean water, no electricity and are being bombed daily even in areas they’re told to go to seek refuge. This could pass as defense in october but at this point it’s blatant that Israel is trying to completely wipe out Palestine. It’s shameful to point fingers at the most helpless people in the world right now. When israel is bombing an entire country I can guarantee they do not care about civilian casualties.

      Reply
  • U

    upset student | May 2, 2024 at 9:44 am

    Can’t believe the protest if for the GENOCIDE of TENS OF THOUSANDS innocent people in gaza, isu daily failed to write that anywhere. Ashamed to say that I was apart of this institution.

    Reply
  • ?

    ??? | May 2, 2024 at 8:57 am

    Why do they cover their faces if they think they are right and righteous?

    Reply
    • A

      annoyed student | May 2, 2024 at 9:53 am

      maybe because other schools have been targeting and suspended peaceful protestors in the past few days and weeks????

      Reply
      • D

        David Jackson | May 2, 2024 at 9:10 pm

        What peaceful protestors have been suspended?

        Reply
    • ?

      ? | May 2, 2024 at 11:27 am

      Ask the students who taunted the protesters with taking their pictures

      Reply
  • N

    Nehal | May 2, 2024 at 8:17 am

    From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!

    Reply
    • S

      someone from ISU | May 2, 2024 at 9:41 am

      Do you understand what that means? Do know which river and which sea that refers to? You are calling for the elimination of the state of Israel and supporting the Hamas goal to kill all the Jews there. You are supporting genocide of Jews and antisemitism.
      See Wikipedia: …’a clear demand for Israel’s destruction. Islamist militant faction Hamas used the phrase in its 2017 charter. Usage of the phrase by such Palestinian militant groups has led critics to argue that it advocates for the dismantling of Israel, and calls for the removal or extermination of the Jewish population of the region’

      Reply
      • S

        Student | May 2, 2024 at 10:32 am

        Buddy, we don’t want Israel or Jewish people to NOT exist. We literally just want Israel to stop bombing people. That’s it. Where the hell are you getting that info?

        Reply
      • ?

        ??? | May 2, 2024 at 10:34 am

        By supporting Israel you are LITERALLY supporting genocide, one that is happening now and has been happening for months. By saying this, people are calling for the end of the CURRENT GENOCIDE against Palestinians. A majority don’t want Israel to be eradicated, they want them to end the occupation and genocide happening currently and for the jews to coexist with people who were already there. Also you really shouldn’t use Wiki as a source as anyone can go edit information on there.

        Reply
        • S

          someone from ISU | May 2, 2024 at 11:43 am

          If you want to stop the Israeli bombings and the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank then say that, but many Jews feel that using ‘From the river to the sea’ calls for eradicating Israel, and you are welcome to read the call to eradicate Israel in the original Hamas charter at irp.fas.org/world/para/docs/hamas-2017.pdf . Also, why aren’t these protesters calling for the release of the Israeli hostages that are held by Hamas as a way to end this war?
          I am against the current Israeli government – but not against the existence of Israel. When my grandmother escaped last minute from Nazi extermination in 1939 she had nowhere else to go – and the family I still have in Israel has nowhere else to go. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has a long history and is very complicated – the Palestinians also rejected proposals for peace many times. Seems to me many students are chanting anti-Israel slogans without understanding underlying meanings, and are being used by radicals.

          Reply
      • R

        Ro | May 2, 2024 at 7:22 pm

        phrase “From the river to the sea..” is deemed as hate speech against the Jewish people only when it’s an act of resistance against what they have been preaching since 75 years!. The phrase it self is the reason why Israel exists illegally (by international law) today. As In the old testament “God” supposedly promised them a land. In Genesis 15:18, God expands on that unconditional promise: “To your descendants I have given this land, From the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates”. Then, in Genesis 17:8,:“The whole land of Canaan, where you now reside as a foreigner, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you.”
        And based on that biblical promise million of Palestinians were kicked out and massacred in thousands since 1948 until today. And they face all kinds of torture and discrimination today in an attempt to force to leave the land.
        And Hamas by the way, was formed in late 1987 in the first intifada (revolution) against the atrocities of the Israeli government against innocent people (do you research). they are only a reaction, a resistance against the main issue of the illegal occupation of Palestine. The occupation that is based on a religious belief by a group of people that is forced upon everyone. Accept the belief and leave the land. Or deny it and you’ll pay the price, and if you resist it you are deemed as terro!st machine???

        Reply
  • K

    kai cenat | May 2, 2024 at 8:07 am

    womp womp

    Reply
  • I

    ISU | May 2, 2024 at 12:25 am

    Why did you not include the chants of “Intifada Revolution” and “Zionists are not wanted here”?

    A bunch of naive individuals.

    Don’t whitewash the Anti-Israel, Anti-Jew Hatred.

    Reply
    • J

      Joseph | May 2, 2024 at 7:07 am

      Alright buddy, calm down, it’s not that deep

      Reply
    • I

      ISU Replier | May 2, 2024 at 8:18 am

      Name one anti Jewish statement that was said yesterday… I watched from a distance and to be honest it looked like the pro Israel students were instigating a fight. “Touch the girl with the flag and see what happens” “why don’t you come here bro”, also many times infront of the library stairs where a short pro Israel guy was trying to obstruct speech.

      Reply
      • D

        David Jackson | May 2, 2024 at 9:13 pm

        He literally listed two of their anti-Jewish statements in his post. Unless you fail to see chanting “Intifada Revolution” and “Zionists are not wanted here” as qualifying after an Islamic terrorist attack on Israel.

        Reply