Fight Back! News

News and Views from the People's Struggle

Denver students, community members protest Zionist speaker Yoseph Haddad

By staff

Denver SDS protest challenges pro genocide Zionist speaker on campus. | Fight Back! News/staff

Denver, CO – On Monday, January 29, the Auraria campus was disgraced by the presence of Yoseph Haddad. Haddad is a wounded member of the Israeli occupation forces who now serves as a “defender of Israel” on social media and in publicity stunts to provide cover for the Zionist occupation and its genocide.

Haddad came to speak on campus and present a showing of an occupation forces’ “documentary” about the events of Al-Aqsa Flood on October 7.

The event was held in the Tivoli Student Union building in the Tivoli Turnhalle, a venue that costs outside vendors $1950 to rent. At $40 a ticket, this event certainly didn’t cover all the barricades and dozens of police present to protect Haddad. Instead, this cost was paid by the students who attend Auraria campus and get little to no say in how the campus is used.

There are Palestinian students on Auraria campus who have lost more than 120 members of their family to the genocide that Haddad speaks in favor of. The welcome mat that Auraria Campus rolled out for him constitutes a deeply discriminatory and dangerous decision on the part of campus administration.

Haddad is charged with going on public relations damage control for the occupation, as universities and colleges across the country are increasingly organizing marches, protests, sit-ins, call-ins, and a variety of other actions in solidarity with the cause of Palestinian liberation. His lies are intended to freeze and silence the Pro-Palestinian movement with accusations of antisemitism, and by mischaracterizing the genocide of Palestinians as some righteous battle for the defense of Israel.

An SDS member who had been planted on the inside noted that Haddad’s speech was made up of thoroughly debunked Zionist talking points in what has become a fool’s toolkit of fakes and falsehoods. The more than 60 students and community members demonstrating outside the event weren’t buying any of it.

The action was a long one. Starting at 4 p.m. and ending at 7:30, the Denver chapter of Students for a Democratic Society joined forces with the Colorado Palestine Coalition and the Freedom Road Socialist Organization to show opposition to genocide-washing events.

A banner that read “End the aid, end the trade: No more funds for genocide!” was prominently displayed on the sidewalk outside the Turnhalle. Members of Freedom Road Socialist Organization held up a banner painting of a Palestinian resistance fighter holding a book and a gun and the slogan “Victory to the Palestinian resistance!”

Speeches by local organizers were interrupted by Haddad himself, who slinked up to the metal barricades that had been set up to keep the students out of the Tivoli Student Union building. Haddad tried first shouting over the speakers but was thoroughly drowned out by a rising chant of “Get this fascist, off our campus!” before he retreated inside to continue his misinformation spree.

Those protesting continued, with renewed vigor, taking to a picket-style march just outside the film screening, audible to all those inside. Towards the end of the event the march proceeded around the Student Union.

The Denver SDS and a growing coalition of student organizations on Auraria are waging a Palestine solidarity campaign to get the University of Colorado to divest from the corporations arming and enabling the U.S./Israeli genocide. It is this mounting pressure and rising level of consciousness amongst the youth on issues like Palestine that threaten U.S. aid to Israel and motivate Haddad to speak at schools here in the U.S. – thousands of miles from the genocidal project he so obediently serves.

#DenverCO #AntiWarMovement #International #Palestine #StudentMovement #SDS #FRSO