Around 100-150 pro-Palestinian demonstrators gathered at the University of Michigan to protest President Santa Ono’s statement about the recent surprise attack on Israel by Hamas. The protest was organized by the Students Allied for Freedom and Equality, a Palestinian solidarity group at the university. The protestors accused President Ono of participating in the erasure of the Palestinian identity and neglecting to mention the loss of innocent Palestinian lives over the course of decades-long oppression.
Pro-Palestinian Group Protests at University of Michigan President’s House
At the University of Michigan, 100-150 pro-Palestinian demonstrators recently protested at President Santa Ono’s residence. The protest was in response to Ono’s October 10 statement about the surprise Hamas attack on Israel. The protest was initiated by the Palestinian solidarity group, Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (SAFE), and was announced via Instagram.
University of Michigan President’s Statement on Middle East Violence
In his statement, Ono condemned the Hamas attack on Israel and expressed his concern for the loss of civilian lives. He also reassured his commitment to work with universities in Israel, focusing on the well-being of students, faculty, and staff.
Protestors Rally Against University President’s Statement
The protest began at the President’s House, with protestors chanting messages of solidarity for Palestine. The demonstrators accused Ono of aiding in the erasing of Palestinian identity in his statement and ignoring the oppression faced by Palestinians for decades.
Demonstrators March Through University Campus
The protestors marched down State Street, through the UM Diag, and back to the President’s House. Ono released another statement during the protest, which was met with disapproval from the crowd.
President Ono Responds to Protestors
Ono reiterated his condemnation of the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel, stating that speaking against any act of terrorism should not be controversial. Salma Hamamy, co-president of SAFE, responded by emphasizing that oppressed individuals have the right to resist.
Impact of Demonstration on Pro-Palestinian Activism
The demonstration concluded around 5:30 p.m. Salma Hamamy expressed optimism about the large turnout at the protest and asserted the need for ongoing work in support of Palestine.
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