Tuesday, June 25, 2024

'Hands off Palestine': Protestors gather at Lansing Capitol in support of Palestinians

October 13, 2023
<p>Protestors held their posters during the Palestinian protest at the Lansing Capitol on Oct. 12, 2023. </p>

Protestors held their posters during the Palestinian protest at the Lansing Capitol on Oct. 12, 2023.

On Thursday, Oct. 12 at 5 p.m., Students United for Palestinian Rights, or SUPR, organized a protest called “Hands Off Palestine” to garner support for Palestinians and tell Michigan’s state government there should be no American support for Israeli war crimes.

The protest, which amassed over one hundred people, included Michigan State University students, members of SUPR, people of Palestinian descent and other supporters.

Various chants were called out during the protest, such as "long live Palestine" and "from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free."

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Linguistics senior and SUPR President Samir Levitt was the protest's main orchestrator and mediator. Throughout the evening, Levitt started up many chants, allowed for a moment of silence and gave a speech on behalf of SUPR's perspectives on the conflict between Israel and Hamas, as well as what specifically happened this past week. 

"This weekend, Palestinian resistance fighters have shown the world that their oppressors are not invincible and (demonstrated) the biggest step towards liberation that they have ever taken," Levitt said. "The Resistance Movement and Gaza orchestrated and pulled off a mass prison break."

Levitt said SUPR "unequivocally denounces all war crimes by Israel and otherwise" that targeted civilians and civilian infrastructure. 

"This is just a fight for liberation and should never harm innocence," Levitt said. 

Okemos resident Sondos Al-Hachim attended the rally with her nine-year-old son, Eyad El-Chaer, to support the people affected by this conflict. Al-Hachim said she wants “peace for everyone.” 

“We’re just supporting the people who’ve been bombed every single day, and we’re praying that people will turn their water back on and at least have water and electricity back,” Al-Hachim said. “We want people to live in peace and have a childhood. I have a child, and it’s really important to me that they live their childhood and not be scared to hear bombs all day and all night.”

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Levitt also explained the conflict, detailing what has happened in Palestine and how many people have died in recent years. 

“This year has been the deadliest ever for Palestinians, as Israel repeatedly assaulted and bombed civilian centers, including refugee camps, schools, hospitals and religious institutions such as mosques, churches and graveyards,” Levitt said. 

Levitt said Palestinians and those supporting Palestine are fighting for liberation while the conflict continues. 

“Even though we are fighting for liberation, that liberation will not come without a cost," Levitt said. "And unfortunately, many people have lost their lives, and that is something that we deeply, deeply regret and we do not want to continue for much longer."

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