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Florida State University PD arrest 5 students demanding divestment from Israel, Boeing

By Cas Casanova

Five arrestees hold up fists outside the jail where they were held.

Tallahassee, FL – On the morning of Wednesday, May 1, about 30 students at Florida State University (FSU) established a Palestine solidarity encampment on Landis Green, the epicenter of FSU campus. They had camped for three days prior to demand a meeting with FSU President Richard McCullough.

Students first gathered at Landis Green at 9:00 a.m. Students demanded a meeting with administration to demand FSU disclose and divest from all ties to Israel and end all campus partnerships with Boeing. At the encampment students chanted “FSU, do what’s right! Cut ties with Boeing and Birthright!” and “Disclose! Divest! We will not stop, we will not rest!”

At around 1:30 p.m., students erected tents on Landis Green despite orders from FSUPD to disperse. Almost immediately, more than 15 campus police descended on protesters erecting the tent and arrested five people: Elijah Ruby, Tavish Bryan, Katherine Kurzweil, Aeden Bennett, and Lou Orban. FSUPD was quick to drive protesters away and place them in holding at the Leon County Jail. SDS organizers and community members mobilized to the jail and waited more than six hours for all five protesters to be released.

Upon their release, the arrestees spoke to the crowd of 20 waiting outside the jail. Elijah Ruby stated, “We want Florida State to disclose all relationships with Israel and divest from all relationships with companies aiding Israel’s genocide. FSU’s engineering department has partnerships with Boeing and Northrop Grumman, which build the planes and bombs that kill Palestinian children every day.”

Aeden Bennett stated, “The fact that Florida State University can invest in weapons manufacturers and support an ongoing genocide, and at the same time criminalize peaceful student protest on their campus, is ridiculous. There’s no accountability – there’s no access or outlets to even talk to these administrators and list our demands. They’re stopping those of us who are graduating from walking at our own graduation and banning us from even going on campus. How is that ‘free speech?’”

Katy Kurzweil, a member of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, stated, “I was planning to transfer to FSU, and now I’m not even allowed to step on campus. But why would I want to go to a school that supports genocide? I’ll keep my money.”

Tallahassee SDS will hold a press conference and rally to demand the charges be dropped and the university listen to student demands of divestment from Israel. The five students are accepting donations towards their legal fees through Cashapp: $SDSFSU

#TallahasseeFL #FSU #SDS #SDSFSU #FreePalestine #DropTheCharges