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CSU student protest calls for ceasefire in Gaza

A+crowd+of+protesters+holds+signs+and+shouts.
Collegian | Allie Seibel
Student protesters gather on the Lory Student Center Plaza at the Free Palestine Protest Nov. 10. Students called for a ceasefire in Gaza and an end to the violence between Israel and Hamas.
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  • Ella Smith leads chants at the Free Palestine Protest in Fort Collins Nov. 10. Smith and other students protested with signs and chants against the war between Israel and Hamas.

    Collegian | Allie Seibel
  • Audra Richister leads the chant, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” at the Free Palestine Protest in Fort Collins Nov. 10. Richister and other student protesters called for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas outside the Lory Student Center.

    Collegian | Allie Seibel
  • Olivia, a student protester who only provided a first name, holds a sign calling for action from Colorado State University toward the war between Israel and Hamas Nov. 10. “I haven’t really heard many university students speaking out about it,” Olivia said. “And, like, even though obviously we’re not people with power, it’s very important for people to be talking about it and spreading the word.”

    Collegian | Allie Seibel
  • Student protesters gather on the Lory Student Center Plaza at the Free Palestine Protest Nov. 10. Students gathered to call for a ceasefire in Gaza and an end to the war between Israel and Hamas.

    Collegian | Allie Seibel
  • Audra Richister holds a sign reading, “Care to comment CSU?” at the Free Palestine Protest in Fort Collins Nov. 10. Outside the Lory Student Center, Richister and others called for an end to the war between Israel and Hamas.

    Collegian | Allie Seibel
  • Gabriella, a student protester who only provided a first name, holds a sign calling for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas at the Free Palestine Protest in Fort Collins Nov. 10. Student protesters gathered outside the Lory Student Center to protest the war between Israel and Hamas.

    Collegian | Allie Seibel
  • A student protester holds a sign and participates in chants at the Free Palestine Protest in Fort Collins Nov. 10. Students gathered on the Lory Student Center Plaza to call for a ceasefire in Gaza and an end to the violence between Israel and Hamas.

    Collegian | Allie Seibel
  • Bradley Berman and another counterprotester wave Israel flags as a counterdemonstration to the Free Palestine Protest outside the Lory Student Center Nov. 10. A few Jewish students gathered to show support for Israel in the war against Hamas.

    Collegian | Allie Seibel
  • An unnamed student protestor holds a sign and distributes flyers before the Free Palestine Protest outside the Lory Student Center Nov. 10. “We are out here today because the bombing in Gaza has gone too far,” Abukar said. “You can’t even call it self-defense anymore. When half the population that you’re killing and bombing is children, civilians are dying everywhere.”

    Collegian | Allie Seibel
  • Student protesters prepare signs before the Free Palestine Protest on the Lory Student Center Plaza Nov. 10. The protest called for a ceasefire and an end to the fighting between Israel and Hamas.

    Collegian | Allie Seibel
  • A group of students hold signs and protest outside the Lory Student Center Nov. 10. Students gathered on The Plaza, Colorado State University’s free speech space, to protest the war between Israel and Hamas.

    Collegian | Allie Seibel
  • Piper, a protester who only provided a first name, holds a sign demonstrating support for Palestine and calling for a ceasefire at the Free Palestine Protest in Fort Collins Nov. 10. The protest took place outside the Lory Student Center.

    Collegian | Allie Seibel
  • Student protesters gather on the Lory Student Center Plaza at the Free Palestine Protest Nov. 10. Students gathered to call for a ceasefire in Gaza and an end to the violence between Israel and Hamas.

    Collegian | Allie Seibel
  • A student protester holds a sign and participates in the Free Palestine Protest Nov. 10. Held on The Plaza of the Lory Student Center, the protest called for a ceasefire in Gaza.

    Collegian | Allie Seibel
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Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with a link to a story explaining the history between Israel and Palestine, and the phrase ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.’

Colorado State University students held a Free Palestine Protest on the Lory Student Center Plaza, speaking out against the war in Gaza, calling for a ceasefire and criticizing U.S. involvement in the conflict. 

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The demonstration, held Friday, Nov. 10, was the second Free Palestine Protest on campus since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel and came in response to Israel airstrikes on Gaza.

The American Civil Liberties Union released an open letter Nov. 1 urging university leaders across the country to protect students’ rights to free speech as tensions continue to rise on college campuses.

“I think it’s really interesting to see how the population here in Colorado, just CSU, really is concerned about an issue like Palestine and Israel,” student Vinny Purrier said. “I think it’s really impressive. I honestly am really surprised by it. I really did not expect someone to be so concerned about this issue, honestly, like, at all. And it’s really kind of hopeful to see that much at the very least.”

Students and members of the community gathered on The Plaza, holding signs and Palestinian flags and chanting, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” a popular slogan used to represent the free Palestine movement.

Some of the students demonstrating focused on the U.S. government’s involvement in the war, citing it as part of their motivation for protesting.

“(I’m here) because I’m tired of seeing kids killed with my tax dollars,” said Em, a protester who only provided a first name. “It’s that simple. Like, I’m tired of it. There’s no reason, like, they haven’t done anything. They’ve been in a 75-year occupation, and they were just trying to, like, get their own human rights back, and there’s an overextension, and now we’re in the second Nakba, and it’s horrid, and I just want to do something to help people.” 

Protesters said that one of the goals of the demonstration was to raise awareness and educate members of the campus community on what is taking place in Gaza.  

“I feel like especially us being in America, not a lot of people are aware of the issues that go on, especially with minority people, and especially, like, at a (predominantly white institution), it’s really important to spread awareness about the injustices that are going on around the world and in America as well,” student Lanae Fox said.

“I think people need to know that these people are dying. It’s not a fair fight at all. It’s not one powerful military group against another powerful military group. It’s one powerful military against civilians. … All of those children are going to have to face generational trauma. It’s not OK. And we have to put an end to the bombing. We have to call for a ceasefire right now.” -Student protester who wished to remain anonymous

Before the demonstration, students sold sugar cookies for donations to Palestine war efforts. Shiraz, a protest organizer who only provided a first name, said they decided to set up the table for donations to give people a chance to donate to the cause without the concern over scams or unreliable sources.

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“I know a lot of (people) — today especially — that are coming to protest are willing to help and want to help but don’t know what would be a good resource,” Shiraz said. “So we wanted to provide that to people that are coming today.” 

“We honestly want to reach anyone, especially the college students because we’re going to be in the next generation that’s leading everything,” Fox said. “And so if we can get the voice out and get a group of people that are ready to make a change and raise awareness, that’s what we’re really trying to do.” 

Students of all different identities gathered on The Plaza to make hand-drawn signs for the protest, including a protester named Piper, who only provided a first name and who held a sign that read, “This Jew says ceasefire now.” 

“What Israel is doing is by all logical definition a genocide — we’ve been seeing protests all across the world, and now there’s one where I live, and I was like, ‘Well, I’m not not going to go; I’m going to show my support in any way I can,’ and, you know, it’s a worthy fight to have,” Piper said. “If there is a red line anywhere, it’s here.” 

Students passed out flyers to students on The Plaza before the demonstration. 

“I think people need to know that these people are dying,” said a student protestor who wished to remain anonymous. “It’s not a fair fight at all. It’s not one powerful military group against another powerful military group. It’s one powerful military against civilians. … All of those children are going to have to face generational trauma. It’s not OK. And we have to put an end to the bombing. We have to call for a ceasefire right now.” 

Two students holding Israel flags stood across from the Free Palestine Protest in a counterdemonstration, including student Bradley Berman.

“(We’re out here to show) that there are Jews on campus,” Berman said. 

The protest was peaceful, and attendees said they did not support violence against individuals and were calling for peace. 

“I just wanted to say that being pro-Palestine isn’t antisemitic; it’s different things, and there’s Palestinian Jews, and I’m Palestinian myself,” Shiraz said. “I was born and raised there, and I left everything.”

Reach Allie Seibel and Hannah Parcells at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @CSUCollegian

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About the Contributors
Allie Seibel
Allie Seibel, Editor in Chief
Allie Seibel is the editor in chief of The Rocky Mountain Collegian, a role she loves more and more with each day. Previously the news editor and news director of The Collegian, Seibel has a background in news, but she’s excited to branch out and experience every facet of content this and following years. Seibel is a sophomore journalism and media communications major minoring in business administration and legal studies. She is a student in the Honors Program and is also an honors ambassador and honors peer mentor. She also is a satellite imagery writer for the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere at Colorado State University. Seibel is from Colorado Springs, Colorado, and loves how The Collegian has gotten her acquainted with Fort Collins and CSU. When she’s not writing, reporting or in class, you can always find her with a book, cross-stitching, planning where to travel to next, trying out a new recipe or listening to Taylor Swift. Seibel is incredibly proud of The Collegian’s past and understands the task of safeguarding its future. She’s committed to The Collegian’s brand as an alt-weekly newspaper and will continue to advance its status as a strong online publication while preserving the integrity and tradition of the print paper. Seibel is excited to begin a multi-year relationship with readers at the helm of the paper and cannot wait to see how the paper continues to grow. Through initiatives like the new science desk and letting each individual desk shine, Seibel is committed to furthering The Collegian and Rocky Mountain Student Media over the next few years.
Hannah Parcells
Hannah Parcells, News Editor
Hannah Parcells is currently the news editor at The Collegian, a role that she loves dearly. Parcells uses she/her pronouns and began writing for The Collegian in fall 2023 as a reporter under the news, science, opinion and life and culture desks.  Parcells is currently pursuing two degrees: a Bachelor of Science in psychology and a Bachelor of Arts in political science with a concentration in global politics. Parcells has always been passionate about understanding and helping other people and hopes to use her education to try and leave the world a little better than she found it.  Raised in Castle Rock, Colorado, Parcells grew up with a love of learning, music and writing. She’s always working to learn more about the world through history and art and loves being introduced to new places, people and ideas.  On the off chance that she’s not buried in textbooks, research papers and policy analyses, Hannah can be found on a hike, watching movies or at any local bookstore or coffee shop, feeding her ongoing addictions to both caffeine and good books. Parcells is incredibly proud of the work she’s done at The Collegian so far and is excited to continue that work as an editor of the news desk.

Comments (5)

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  • A

    AlexMay 2, 2024 at 11:53 am

    So proud of these students for standing up for what’s right. And good on the Collegian for having real journalistic integrity, rather than highlighting the same Zionist talking points that these other commenters seem to prefer.

    Reply
  • S

    SamNov 28, 2023 at 5:58 am

    Would have liked to hear more from the counter protesters. Did them pretty dirty by just quoting them for one sentence. That was an opportunity to do some real reporting.

    Reply
  • V

    Vincent JamesNov 15, 2023 at 5:38 pm

    “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” a popular slogan used to represent the free Palestine movement. – Or more accurately, a call for the eradication of Israel and the Jewish people living there

    Reply
    • A

      AlexMay 2, 2024 at 11:55 am

      This is just flagrant misinformation. Google is a good tool if you want to actually educate yourself on the meaning of the slogan 🙂

      Reply
  • C

    CherylNov 11, 2023 at 4:08 pm

    Wish they understood

    Reply