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Tallahassee students establish Palestine solidarity encampment

By staff

FSU students camp on Landis Green in solidarity with Palestine.  | Fight Back! News/Cas Cassanova

Tallahassee, FL – On the early morning of April 25, about 20 students at Florida State University (FSU) started an encampment for Palestine on Landis Green in solidarity with student encampments across the country. Students at schools across the country, such as Columbia, Yale and the University of Minnesota have set up encampments to demand their universities divest and cut all ties to Israel.

Students camped on Landis Green, the epicenter of campus, beginning at 4 a.m. Tents, blankets and Palestinian flags were set up across the space. A banner tied between tents made the student’s purpose clear, reading, “FSU students demand: disclose/divest from Israel! End partnerships with Boeing!” The FSU College of Engineering has multiple partnerships with weapons manufacturer Boeing through various departments and scholarships.

At around 7:30 a.m., campus police ordered the encampment to relocate to Landis Fountain, and again at 9 a.m. to Strozier, the main library. By 10 a.m., when a kickoff rally began, more than 60 students and community members had joined the fold. Sprinklers on the lawn were turned on full blast in an attempt to deter them. Despite this, the encampment remained on Landis until 10 p.m. that night.

The FSU site was established by Tallahassee Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), Tally Dissenters, the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO), and Dream Defenders.

Three rallies were held throughout the day to amplify the student’s demands and keep spirits high. Joelle Nuñez, president of Tally SDS, said “We want FSU to end all partnerships with Israel, Boeing and any other military contractors or entities tied to Israel. This encampment is getting the word out to students and showing them that there is a movement here. We’re not going to let up until our demands are met.”

Kitty Nitsch of Tally Dissenters spoke to the importance of solidarity and the interconnectedness of the Palestinian and Black liberation movements, stating, “Our small act of resistance against the war industry and the consequences we may face are nothing the people of Gaza and the West Bank are actively facing. Showing my solidarity with Palestinian siblings is continuing the decades long history of solidarity between the Black and Palestinian people. We are not free until we are all free.”

About ten Zionist hecklers gathered across the sidewalk from the encampment. At about 3 p.m. they attempted to enter the encampment to harass protesters and take their supplies, including food and water donated by community members and supportive passerby. Campus police intervened and erected barricades to separate the two groups.

Katy Kurzweil, a member of FRSO, stated, “We need to show the university that there are people on this campus and in this state who care about Palestinian liberation. Florida is governed by Ron DeSantis, one of the most repressive governors in the country. We have to mobilize to show the admin and politicians that we outnumber them. We run the show, not them!”

Students began breaking down the encampment at about 9:30 p.m. with the intention of returning the next day at 9 a.m..

For more information on the encampment and how to donate, visit @tallysds on Instagram.

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