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Tallahassee students rally to divest from Boeing and Israel

By Oliver Cheese

Students gather on Landis Green to demand FSU divest from Israel. | Fight Back! News/Ben Grant

Tallahassee, FL – On Friday, April 12, students at Florida State University joined Tallahassee Students for a Democratic Society to demand that the university divest from apartheid Israel, including ending its partnership with infamous weapons manufacturer Boeing, which arms the Israeli occupation.

More than 30 students marched to a rally on Landis Green, where they and the many other students heard speakers from SDS, the Tallahassee Community Action Committee (TCAC), the FL Student Power Network, Tallahassee Dissenters, and the Freedom Road Socialist Organization.

Despite the mounting death toll in Palestine, the FSU administration and President Richard McCullough continue to partner with Boeing and have yet to divest from Israel or do anything to safeguard Palestinian students.

SDS member Chisara Amanze stated, “I’m tired of begging our school representatives, our city commissioners, our state representatives and our federal government to care when they obviously don’t care.”

Students demanded action from FSU throughout the rally, chanting “President McCullough, do what’s right! Cut ties with Boeing and Birthright!”

Tallahassee SDS was removed as a registered student organization at FSU for protesting at a board of trustees meeting to demand that they divest from Israel. Meanwhile, Zionist organizations on campus were allowed to hold an entire “Israel Week” to glorify the Zionist entity, during which they hosted an Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldier who spoke at an event to promote the “values of the IDF.”

Katherine Nitsch of Tallahassee Dissenters, which disrupted the IDF speaker alongside members of SDS, condemned this celebration of a murderer and the hypocrisy of the FSU administration

Nitsch stated, “Student organizations like Students for a Democratic Society, which advocate for the liberation of people, that advocate for the rights of people, should be on campus. When you have institutions like CAMERA, or Hillel, or JSU, that attack individuals, that is unacceptable. That is not okay, and that needs to be removed from FSU’s campus. FSU needs to be held accountable, not only for that Israel Week, but for what they’re doing with Boeing and what they’re doing with Birthright. Students need to have options, and genocide and violence is not one of them.”

FRSO member Cas Casanova helped attendees to envision what it is they’re fighting for: a better future free of Zionism and capitalism. “We don’t have to have our tax dollars funding genocide. We don’t have to be breaking our backs and seeing nothing in return. A better world is possible! We just have to fight for it, and by demanding that the university divest from evil, evil corporations like Boeing, from genocidal projects like Birthright, we are creating a better world. And I know that we’re not gonna stop until everything is divested from Israel and Israel falls like a house of cards.”

At the end of the rally, students were encouraged to attend a viewing of A Special Day for SDS’s Pride History Movie Night, and the next day’s Punk Pride fundraiser. Organizers reiterated their commitment to continuing until victory in the fight for FSU to divest from Boeing and Israel and for Palestinian liberation.

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