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The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

Vigil for Gaza brings solidarity for the people of Palestine amid crisis

Student organizations come together in remembrance
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Andrew Fogel
A group of people gather outside of the Ethnic Studies building for the Vigil for Gaza on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023. (Andrew Fogel/ Golden Gate Xpress)

Candles glowed as students and faculty gathered together Thursday outside the Ethnic Studies building for the Vigil for Gaza in a show of solidarity with the people of Palestine.

Sabreen Imtair speaks during the Vigil for Palestine outside of the Ethnic Studies building on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023. (Andrew Fogel /Golden Gate Xpress)
Andrew Fogel 

The General Union of Palestine Students organized the vigil to honor those who lost their lives in the recent Israeli airstrikes in Gaza. Movimiento Estudiantil para Liberación de las Américas, Student Kouncil of Intertribal Nations and the League of Filipino Students were some of the organizations that joined the event in solidarity.

“The event we had today was a vigil to honor our Palestinian martyrs and come together in community and mourn and grieve together,” said Adan Deeb, a member of GUPS. “The situation that’s been happening in the last two weeks has been really isolating, especially for those of us living in the diaspora. We feel helpless and unable to do anything. I think being able to come together as a community and mourn together, and read together, and show support for our martyrs and the people who are fighting on the ground is really beautiful.”

Students spoke into a bullhorn to share their personal experiences by reciting poems and talking about their loved ones in Palestine. The audience supported the speakers with loud chants and cheers during the vigil.

“I think people really just need to be together and grieve and be in community. I think at home or when I’m alone, you kind of feel numb to it all,” said Sabreen Imtair, an SFSU alum and former president of GUPS, who is currently in the Ethnic Studies M.A. program.

“You’re just watching the news 24/7. That’s literally all my family has been doing and all my friends and co-workers. And then you come into spaces like communities like this and it just brings up all the feelings that you have. You see people that you know, and I think it’s just really about being in community together and grieving for what’s happening.”

Several professors and administrative members were present at the vigil, which attracted a large student turnout.

“They wanted a space and they filed different things to do a rally. We are supportive of our students in this time period,” said Grace Yoo, dean of the College of Ethnic Studies. “The students wanted to organize this rally and they organized it in front of ethnic studies and we are here to support that.”

The administration showed their support through attendance.

People sit in front of a memorial and various signs during the Vigil for Gaza outside of the Ethnic Studies building on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023. (Andrew Fogel/ Golden Gate Xpress) Andrew Fogel 

“The reason I’m out here is to support our students and ensure that they’re able to exercise their voice and demonstrate peacefully,” said Miguel Hernández, dean of students at SFSU. “And so it is a privilege to be in a position like this to be in support of our students. “I do have friends, colleagues and students that would be personally affected. And so as an administrator, but also as a human, I reach out to and express love and care and concern and will continue to do so.”

Students headed over to the Federal Building downtown after the vigil came to an end so they could protest outside Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s office.

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About the Contributors
Ishaan Pratap, Copy Editor
Ishaan Pratap (he/him) was born in New York and is a 4th year print and online journalism major at San Francisco State. In his free time he enjoys video games, hanging out with friends, and watching soccer. He joined the journalism program because he's passionate about social issues like housing and city politics.
Adriana Hernandez, Editor-In-Chief
Adriana Hernandez (she/her) is the Editor-In-Chief for Golden Gate Xpress. She is majoring in journalism and minoring in media literacy. Adriana has a passion for storytelling, culture, art, and design. She previously wrote for The Skyline View, the student newspaper of Skyline College. In her downtime, she enjoys reading and watching films. For any inquiries, you can contact me at [email protected].  
Andrew Fogel, Photographer
Andrew Fogel is a photographer for Golden Gate Xpress and Xpress Magazine who’s majoring in photojournalism and minoring in labor and employment studies. If he’s not taking photos, Andrew can be found rooting for the various Philadelphia sports teams. He aspires to be either a staff photographer or a sports photographer in the future.

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