Students For Justice In Palestine Protest CUNY, Advocate For Palestinians

BROOKLYN COLLEGE–Chants from protesters reverberated outside of Brooklyn College’s East Quad on Thursday, Oct. 12, as students and faculty made their daily commute to and from classes. What would have been a normal school day was filled with barricades, police and press helicopters whirling overhead. On one side of the CUNY-wide rally organized by the BC Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) Club stood pro-Palestine supporters, and on the other side, separated by the barricade of student traffic, were counter-protesters supporting Israel.

The protest came five days after Hamas, a militant political group that governs the Gaza Strip and designated by many Western countries as a terrorist organization, launched an attack on Israel that killed over 1,200 people and injured 3,000, according to the United Nations as of Oct. 12. Since then, Israel began a counteroffensive against Hamas, its retaliatory airstrikes killing 1,500 Palestinians and injuring 6,000 more, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health as of Oct. 12. Civilians on both sides are facing the brunt of these deaths.

BC President Michelle Anderson denounced the Hamas attack on Oct. 9 in a college-wide email and on social media, urging the BC community to stand against hate and come together. “We condemn the violent attacks by Hamas on Israel and its diverse peoples […] We stand against hate. The college remains committed to fostering an inclusive and diverse community, encouraging civil discourse and enhancing compassion for one another. We pray that peace prevails,” read her statement.