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LSU students protest university’s ties with Israel

By Ryan Spalt

Students march against LSU's ties with Israel

Baton Rouge, LA- On May 3, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at Louisiana State University co-hosted a walkout and rally for Palestine. The protest was in response to the university’s involvement in the Go-Med Consortium, an initiative with the goals of developing oil drilling practices in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of occupied Palestine, with the eventual goals of bringing the developed technology to the Gulf of Mexico. The consortium includes Louisiana universities as well as Israeli universities.

The walkout began with a banner drop in the Engineering building. Many more students gathered outside in support of the protest, while 100 other students watched from the windows. The banner and protesters called on students and faculty to “Pick a side, humanity or genocide.” Shortly after, Zionist reactionaries began showing up to respond “genocide,” chant “USA, USA, USA!” and insult pro-Palestinian protesters..

As a Palestinian SJP member began her speech, the Zionists became louder. She talked about how the genocide in her homeland has impacted her and her family. As the reactionaries became more aggressive, organizers led students in a disciplined march across campus to outside the Student Union while chanting, “LSU you can’t hide, you’re supporting genocide!” and, “Engineers pick a side, humanity or genocide!”

Protesters stood strong against the show of Zionism. More than an hour into chanting, Republican State Senator Alan Seabaugh came to show support for the Zionists and to take pictures with the reactionaries. Later the senator stated that he was unhappy with the lack of enforcement of Louisiana's law prohibiting individuals from concealing their identity, due to protesters wearing medical masks, despite these masks being exempt from the law.

The protest exposed LSU and Seabaugh for how they stand on Palestine and the safety of pro-Palestinian students. It also showed the students’ determination to keep fighting.

#BatonRougeLA #Palestine #SJP #SDS #LSU