Members from the Stanford Students for Palestinian Equal Rights (SPER) and others formed a sit-down blockade in White Plaza starting at noon. They were briefly joined by history professor Clayborne Carson. According to organizers, the format of the protest was intended to “symbolize the Israeli blockade and siege of Gaza.” The protest was organized by a coalition of student groups.
“We will protest the Israeli assault and economic chokehold on Gaza, and will rally students to demand that the University divest from companies implicated in the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine,” read a statement sent by SPER member Anna McConnell ’14 to multiple mailing lists.
A maximum of 35 students participated, including 10 core members of SPER. Some of the protestors plan to participate in an “emergency protest against the Israeli war on Gaza” at 4 p.m. in front of the Israeli Consulate at 456 Montgomery St. in San Francisco.
“Showing our solidarity for the people of Gaza and Palestine is one of the most important issues that Stanford students can take on right now,” McConnell said.
The protestors also called for passersby to join the divestment campaign launched in 2006, calling on Stanford to stop investing its endowment in companies that contribute to “the oppression of the Palestinian people,” according to SPER.
The protestors sat in an oval by the “Circle of Death” roundabout, semi-blocking the path from the Main Quad to White Plaza. Some bikers were forced to dismount in order to go around the demonstration.
“We want to put more of a burden on Stanford students who otherwise might be uneducated or apathetic to the atrocities that are going on and to care and to respond to them,” said SPER member and Daily columnist Kristian Davis Bailey ’14.
– Ileana Najarro
Marwa Farag contributed to this report