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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

SFSU walkout of class to call ceasefire in Gaza

The school community joined four other CSU campuses in the nationwide event
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Neal Wong
A speaker talks about working-class struggles at Malcolm X Plaza on Oct. 25, 2023. (Neal Wong/Golden Gate Xpress)

The General Union of Palestine Students participated in a nationwide walkout to demand an end to the conflicts in Gaza on Wednesday at Malcolm X Plaza, alongside other student organizations in solidarity.

GUPS was joined by other student organizations, like Movimiento Estudiantil para Liberación de las Américas, Black Student Union and League of Filipino Students within a crowd of 300 students.

Throughout the rally, GUPS members spoke to the crowd and spoke about some of the recent developments in the Israel-Hamas war.

“It’s very empowering. I love to see the solidarity. I love to see the support. There’s so many students here. I think this is one of the biggest rallies we’ve seen since the hunger strike,” said Ziniab Imtair, GUPS President. “I’m just so happy to see everyone come out and support and to all the other orgs that spoke up with us and faculty that came and canceled their classes for us. We just love to see that.”

The walkout’s goal was to demand a ceasefire from Israel to stop the bombing in Gaza in support of Palestine.

A student writes “¡VIVA! VIVA PALESTINE” at Malcolm X Plaza on Oct. 25, 2023. (Neal Wong/Golden Gate Xpress) Neal Wong 

“It doesn’t make sense. For me, my brain cannot compute genocide and oppression. It doesn’t really make sense to me, why innocent people have to be murdered at such vast levels,” said Lauren Dunn, the Black Community Programs Officer for Black Student Union. “These people are doing nothing but I mean, you see these kids, these children, when you ask them what they want to do when Palestine is free, they just want to go to the beach, they just want to play soccer with their friends.”

Many students expressed that the rally was a success and brought many communities together according to Dunn. She feels that this is everybody’s issue and believes in helping Palestine be free.

“These are innocent people, and all because of their ethnicity or their religion, like they should not be ethnically cleansing. It makes me angry,” Dunn said. “I feel like the anger is good. It keeps you passionate. It keeps you believing in a free Palestine.”

Students at CSU campuses Fullerton, Long Beach, Sacramento and San Diego State University all walked out in solidarity with Palestine.

“This affects everyone because not only do we unwillingly help fund this genocide, but these people that were here today, these students are here today are in support of liberation and freedom of the Palestinians and of people everywhere,” said Daniella Shofani GUPS board member. “It just reinforced that I can look to these people when things go down. There is a fight for liberation and freedom and equality and an anti-white supremacy.”

SF State’s Black Student Union spoke at Malcolm X Plaza in support of Palestine on Oct. 25, 2023. (Neal Wong/Golden Gate Xpress) Neal Wong

While the walkout was hosted by GUPS at SFSU, they were not alone. Many other student organizations –– as well as faculty –– walked out of their classes to stand with Palestine.

After seeing media coverage of the Israel-Hamas war, Noun Abdelaziz, a GUPS member, was feeling sad but felt like all was not lost after the walkout.

“Seeing people wanting to support them being alive made me feel like the world is not lost after all. There is some form of humanity,” Abdelaziz said. “It was really beautiful and empowering. It made me feel like this is worth every shout, every cry, and every protest, and every tear that has happened taking place.”

International second-year student Mahmoud Abulhaija is from Jordan and has family in Israel, Gaza and other parts of Palestine. Abulhaija believes that the war is not fair due to the amount of resources Israel has and said that “innocent people, children and women and a lot of people are getting killed right now there. What I want is for American people to understand the issue, to understand the problems and understand the conflict.”

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About the Contributors
Sophia Osborn, Engagement and Online Editor
Sophia Osborn (she/her) is the Engagement and Online editor for Golden Gate Xpress. She is majoring in journalism and minoring in English literature. Sophia has always loved keeping up with the news and reading whatever she can. Coming from sunny San Diego, she graduated from Carlsbad High School, where she wrote and was an editor for the school paper, the Lancer Link. This is her second semester on staff and she is extremely excited about what the future holds in store for her. In her downtime, Sophia can be found hanging out with friends, reading, writing, or playing Mario Kart with her friends.
Neal Wong, Co-Copy Editor
Neal Wong (he/him) is a third-year journalism student and minoring in urban studies and planning. He was born and raised in San Francisco and attended Washington High School. He has photographed and written for Golden Gate Xpress first as a contributor, then as a photographer, and now as a copy editor. His photos have also been published by the San Francisco Bay ViewSan Francisco Public Press, Mission Local, and Xpress Magazine. Neal has also created and taught four SFSU Experimental College courses. His hobbies include traveling, cooking, and reading.

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