Protest: Students rally for Palestine

SIGNS FOR PALESTINE—ELAC students Carmen Aguilar, left, and Valentina Melendez, right, make signs for pro-Palestine protest. CN/Jarielle Johnson

By James Archer

Sanchez said that the other pro-palestine student groups at University of Southern California and University of Southern California Los Angeles campuses took notice of Thursday’s protest and the turnout of it prompted him to think about forming a student group of his own at ELAC.

“It would be similar to Students for Justice in Palestine, with chapters in CSULA, USC, UCLA, something similar for the ELAC and the East Los Angeles community,” Sanchez said.

He said the turnout was outstanding, and it showed that there is an appetite for this kind of movement within this community.

“I realized there’s momentum and ELAC very clearly sent me a message by basically saying yeah, this is something that we’re interested in and it’s something that we want to do,” Sanchez said.

After the protest was over Ochoa said he felt like he had to express himself and share with the people the truth as he saw it. 

“It’s very sad in the sense of what’s going on in the world today. You see a lot of hate and rage, and a lot of it is due to lack of information. Things like this happen because a lot of people are not truly informed or doing their own research,” Ochoa said.

Tehfi said the protests are important. They give people a chance to learn something about what actually goes on in Palestine.

“It teaches us unity, and it means freedom and hope for children in Gaza. The best thing you can do with these people that are misinformed is to speak the facts, state your facts and if they don’t want to listen then that’s on them,” Tehfi said. 

Ethan Ma, a student at ELAC attended the protest to gain knowledge on what these movements mean.

“It impacts the community of students and challenges them to learn about what’s happening around the world and what we can do to help stop Israel and to show that everything they are doing in Palestine is wrong,” Ma said.

Ma said he would attend another protest or consider joining the Justice for Palestine group.

“We just wanted to add extra security because of what we’ve seen happen on other campuses.” Captain Israel Renteria of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department said.

Renteria said he was happy the protest remained peaceful and ELAC showed everybody what a protest should be.

Sanchez has already planned another protest for May 23rd at 1  p.m. in the free speech area.

Additionally, there will be flyers posted around campus with a scannable QR code linking to an online form to RSVP for the Hands of Rafah protest.

The protest scheduled for May 23 calls for an immediate cease-fire between Hamas and Israel and they also call on the LACCD to pass a resolution calling for a cease-fire and to acknowledge their students’ demands.

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