Students protest Tulane University connections to Israel
New Orleans, LA – On October 26, over 250 students and community members gathered for a rally near Tulane University’s campus. Despite a counter-protest of obviously intoxicated students shouting Islamophobic and racist slurs, demonstrators outnumbered them and drowned them out. Chants like “Tulane, Tulane you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide!” energized the crowd.
The newly formed Tulane4Palestine led the demonstration against the deep ties between the university and the state of Israel. “We demand the termination of all contracts with institutions that support the ongoing genocide of Palestinians,” said a member of Tulane4Palestine.
Speakers connected their experiences as Palestinian and Arab Americans to the ongoing struggle for Palestinian liberation. “They had new and advanced Israeli and American war equipment and a Canadian-based PR company, or should I say propaganda machine, so this time we knew they were coming to destroy it all” said Mina Mahfouz, an organizer with Loyola Students for a Democratic Society, condemning the violence perpetrated by Israeli-backed militias in her home country of Sudan.
During the rally, a supporting Palestinian community member and their family drove by, waving a Palestinian flag. A counter-protester threw an Israeli flag into the truck. When they drove by again, a boy in the truck bed apparently tried to light the Israeli flag on fire when Zionist counter-protesters rushed the vehicle. When the driver attempted to defend his vehicle, another protester and member of Jewish Voices for Peace attempted to defuse the situation. Police brutalized and arrested them. Local and national news sources reported incorrectly that Palestinian protesters attacked Jewish students.
After the initial arrest, the driver was arrested when a counter-protester spotted him sitting in his truck down the street from the ongoing rally and alerted the police. Despite the Zionist attack, protesters continued to disrupt business as usual in the university. Tulane, a school that receives large sums of money from Zionist organizations and donors, was shaken to its core by this unprecedentedly large act of defiance. As protesters continued chanting, they also denounced the arrests and demanded the police hold the true instigators of the altercation by held accountable.