Approximately twenty activists involved with Students for Justice in Palestine marched through the UCLA campus on Wednesday afternoon in protest of the state of Israel, its alleged human rights violations and President Donald Trump’s proposed immigration policies.
Donning megaphones, flags and picket signs, the protestors chanted as they walked through BruinWalk to the outside of Powell Library and Royce Hall, where the demonstration culminated and ended. In repeat-after-me style, they chanted phrases such as “1,2,3,4 — open the prison door… 5,6,7,8 — Israel’s an Apartheid state,” referring to their view of Israel’s control over Gaza and presence in the West Bank as illegal and immoral. Implicitly accusing the Israeli army of the murder of Palestinian children, the protestors frequently repeated that “killing children is a crime — free, free Palestine!”
Still other chants expanded beyond Israeli policy, such as one likening President Trump’s plan to build a wall along the Mexican border with Israel’s security barrier separating the West Bank and Israel Proper.
It was not immediately clear what particular development, if any, catalyzed the protest. The protestors’ picket signs suggested that President Trump’s policy decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital may have played a role. Additionally, Israel’s detention of a 16 year old Palestinian woman named Ahed Tamimi, originally arrested after slapping an Israeli soldier, may have also influenced the timing.
Following the demonstration, protest organizers declined to comment to Ha’Am on the specific motivation behind or timing of the protest.