The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Print Edition
Letter to the editor submissions
Have a strong opinion about something happening on campus or in Fort Collins? Want to respond to an article written on The Collegian? Write a Letter to the Editor by following the guidelines here.
Follow Us on Twitter
Innovative Startups to Watch in the Tech Industry
July 19, 2024

The tech industry is ever-evolving, with startups continually pushing the boundaries of innovation. In 2024, several companies are making waves...

Free Palestine protest at Denver Capitol demands ceasefire

Collegian | Milo Gladstein
Protesters gather outside the Colorado Capitol building in Denver during a Shut it Down for Palestine protest Nov. 9. Protestors echoed chants like, “The people united will never be defeated,” throughout the protest, calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Editors note: 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. View full gallery here.

Shut it Down for Palestine protests called for international action Nov. 9, and protesters gathered outside of the Capitol building in Denver in support of Palestinians in Gaza.


Speakers at the protest echoed demands for action from state representatives. Namely, they called for a ceasefire and a stop to all Colorado-sourced military aid to Israel.

“It is fairly clear what Israel wants to do,” speaker Nadeen Ibrahim said. “They want to annex Gaza into Israel. They’re doing it through ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people who, by the way, are not monolith. Those are our Muslim and Christian sisters and brothers in Gaza.”

The crowd condemned politicians by name, including President Joe Biden, Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Rep. Jason Crow and Gov. Jared Polis.  

“They’re using that very simple excuse of self-defense that these people in this building (the Denver Capitol) continue to support and stand by,” Ibrahim said. “As Coloradans, we say no to apartheid. As Coloradans, we demand a ceasefire now.” 

A large portion of the crowd was made up of students. The Denver chapter of Students for a Democratic Society led a group from the Auraria Campus to the Capitol, and Denver public school students joined the masses as well. Students voiced concern about the treatment of the Palestinian people and their tax dollars being spent on military aid to Israel while the city of Denver faces so many housing and education issues.

“The reason for the phrase ‘from the river to the sea’ is because for the past 75 years, there has been forced displacement, home demolitions, murder, apartheid and just absolute genocide by the Israeli regime, and we want to be free from that. Our freedom does not mean another people’s dispossession.” -Abdullah Elagha, Colorado Palestine Coalition organizer

According to the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, Colorado contributes over $76 million to military aid for Israel. 

“We refuse to let our tax dollars be used to finance the death and suffering of the Palestinian people,” said Alex Borenstein, organizer with the Jewish Voice for Peace.

The group was unable to go into the Capitol and remained outside for the duration of the protest. Organizers handed out pamphlets instructing people to text “GAZA” to 21000 and fill out the link they received. They also provided a script to be used when calling local representatives. 

Protesters echoed chants like, “Free, free, free Palestine; long live Palestine,” “Biden, Biden, you can’t hide; we charge you with genocide,” and, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”


“Back in the day, we couldn’t have imagined this, and now it’s so beautiful to see you all here,” Borenstein said. “This is a turning point for people seeking liberation globally. And I want you to recognize that you are part of that movement. And don’t let these people take that away from you. America’s public opinion is rapidly changing.”

These chants have been consistent in several protests supporting Palestine. While the politicians’ names may change, protesters have focused on several consistent key demands. 

After the protest, the Party for Socialism and Liberation branch in Denver posted an Instagram reel stating their demands in the caption: for Polis, Hickenlooper, Sen. Michael Bennet, U.S. House representatives for Colorado and the Colorado General Assembly to endorse a ceasefire; “for Colorado to end all partnerships with the apartheid state of Israel”; for Colorado to reject the Global Conference for Israel from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3 at the Colorado Convention Center; and for Polis to pull out as one of its speakers. 

“The reason for the phrase ‘from the river to the sea’ is because for the past 75 years, there has been forced displacement, home demolitions, murder, apartheid and just absolute genocide by the Israeli regime, and we want to be free from that,” Abdullah Elagha with the Colorado Palestine Coalition said. “Our freedom does not mean another people’s dispossession.” 

What is happening to the people of Gaza is not just happening in Gaza, Ibrahim said. She told the crowd that there is “a collective punishment against all Palestinians” and that Palestinians on the West Bank had also seen colonization. 

“All the Palestinians that are here in the crowd today, we feel that collective punishment too,” Ibrahim said. “Whether it be from our employers (or) whether it be from our educators that want to come tell us what it means to be Palestinian.”

Not all government officials remained in the Capitol building during the protest. Colorado state Rep. Säid Sharbini came out to support the crowd and his fellow Palestinians. 

“One of the main reasons I’m here today is that these are my people,” Sharbini said. “I don’t stand here and say that what Hamas did was right because it wasn’t. What they did was indiscriminate killing, which is what we’re seeing now. And I’m here to just say we need to stop the violence, stop the killing and focus on actual practical ways to move forward. For me, the biggest message we should be sending here is the ceasefire.”

Sharbini also wanted to ensure that the students and organizers felt supported. 

“As much as I can do is just be here and support people,” Sharbini said. “Support these kids that came out here, running this rally, making sure that they know that we’re here backing them up.”

While the protest was peaceful, one protester was detained after an incident between Palestinian protesters and a counterprotester in support of Israel.

Reach Ivy Secrest at or on Twitter @IvySecrest.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Ivy Secrest
Ivy Secrest, Content Managing Editor
Ivy Secrest is The Collegian's content managing editor. Secrest uses she/her/hers pronouns and has worked for The Collegian previously as a reporter and as life and culture director for the 2022-23 academic year. As a senior in the journalism and media communications department, Secrest enjoys reporting on environmental and social issues with a special interest in science communication. She is president of the Science Communication Club and is pursuing a minor in global environmental sustainability with hopes of utilizing her education in her career. Growing up in Denver, Secrest developed a deep love for the outdoors. She could happily spend the rest of her life hiking alpine environments, jumping into lakes, taking photos of the wildflowers and listening to folk music. She's passionate about skiing, hiking, dancing, painting, writing poetry and camping. Secrest's passions spurred her career in journalism, helping her reach out to her community and get involved in topics that students and residents of Fort Collins truly care about. She has taken every opportunity to connect with the communities she has reported in and has written for several of the desks at The Collegian, including news, life and culture, cannabis, arts and entertainment and opinion. She uses her connections with the community to inform both managerial and editorial decisions with hopes that the publication serves as a true reflection of the student body's interests and concerns. Secrest is an advocate of community-centered journalism, believing in the importance of fostering meaningful dialogue between press and community.
Milo Gladstein
Milo Gladstein, Photo Director
Milo Gladstein is a fifth-year senior majoring in journalism and media communications. He is currently serving as one of the two photo directors for the 2o23-24 school year. Gladstein's work focuses on long-form stories diving deep into what it means to be human and sharing people's passion and story with the community. He did not begin as a journalism major and has worn many hats while at CSU. He began as a conservation biology major, moving to undeclared and then horticulture therapy before finally landing in the journalism department. He seeks stories about community members who are impacting the world around them in positive ways and shares those stories. Working at The Collegian has taught Gladstein about working on a team, how to develop a story and the best ways to present said stories. Most importantly, he has grown from a photographer into a photojournalist. As co-photo director, he hopes to pass that knowledge on to the next group of journalists rising through The Collegian. When not working at The Collegian or in class, Gladstein can be found reading a book or in the outdoors climbing, camping, exploring and getting lost in the mountains.

Comments (0)

When commenting on The Collegian’s website, please be respectful of others and their viewpoints. The Collegian reviews all comments and reserves the right to reject comments from the website. Comments including any of the following will not be accepted. 1. No language attacking a protected group, including slurs or other profane language directed at a person’s race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, social class, age, physical or mental disability, ethnicity or nationality. 2. No factually inaccurate information, including misleading statements or incorrect data. 3. No abusive language or harassment of Collegian writers, editors or other commenters. 4. No threatening language that includes but is not limited to language inciting violence against an individual or group of people. 5. No links.
All The Rocky Mountain Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *