In alignment with the national march in Washington D.C. last Saturday Nov. 4, the Democratic Socialists of DePauw (DSD) organized an on-campus demonstration to call for an immediate ceasefire in Palestine. In preparation for this protest, DSD had hosted a General Meeting in solidarity with Palestinians and a “Rights, Responsibilities, & Protest Decorum” session to inform students about the significance of the ongoing tension between Israel and Palestine, as well as guidelines to safely exercise one’s right to freedom of speech.

A banner from Saturday's pro-Palestine protest. Credit: Ahnaf Labib.

The protest participants started setting up banners, signs, and speakers at the Bowman Park booth at around 11:50 a.m.. Dorian Shager, the Assistant VP for Student Affairs, was present to check the logistics and intervene if the process encountered interruption. The demonstration gathered more than 70 people, including a Professor and 10 students from other universities who arrived at DePauw for the Great Lakes Colleges Association Students of Color Conference. Thirty minutes after the set-up was ready, a protester stepped up to initiate the chants, beginning with: “Free Free Palestine / Free Free Palestine.”

Other chants included: “Not a penny, not a dollar / We won’t pay for Zionist slaughter”; “Hey-hey, Ho-ho, Zionism has got to fall / Hey-hey, Ho-ho, Colonialism has got to fall”; and “From the river to the sea, / Everyone will be free.”

After echoing the chants for around 30 minutes, 15 students and the Professor took turns sharing their personal reflections. They talked about the global nature of genocide in Sudan, Congo, and the U.S., while demanding immediate ceasefire in and humanitarian aid to people in the Gaza strip. Speakers expressed their belief and frustration that the media was institutionally manipulated to suppress the voices of those who needed help. They emphasized the intersectionality between racial identity, religion, sexuality, and disability, and highlighted their diverse group of protesters.

The demonstration ended with all participants holding signs marching around the Green Center for Performative Arts (GCPA), passing by the Julian Center, Lily Center and first-year housing area. After the march, protest participants once again gathered at the starting booth and echoed their chants a few more times before DSD representatives made final remarks, encouraging participants to continue raising their voices regarding this matter. 

DSD will be having a Debrief and Discussion session to reflect on the protest at the Roy Laptop Lab this Wednesday from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Editor's Note: This story is in progress, and will be updated as more information becomes available.