Fight Back! News

News and Views from the People's Struggle

Tampa Bay SDS statement on USF Gaza Solidarity Encampment

By staff

Tampa encampment for Palestine. | Fight Back! News/staff

Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from Tampa Bay Students for a Democratic Society (SDS).

On Monday, April 29, Tampa Bay SDS held an event at the University of South Florida (USF) to remember the Nakba which was met with admin and campus police trying to shut down the protest in an attempt to limit our free speech. At the conclusion of this protest, Tampa Bay SDS announced our immediate plan to set up a Gaza solidarity encampment at USF. Upon setting up our initial tents and tarps USF admin sent in USFPD to brutalize students and arrest protestors. We absolutely condemn the three arrests made by USFPD. Those arrested were Simon Rowe, who is a USF alumni and community member, one fellow student, and one USF staff member.

We condemn the actions of USF admin and Dean McDonald in their efforts to suppress our right to free speech and our right to protest. We received repeated threats of trespass and arrests for our Nakba Remembrance protest as well as continued threats from admin as we asserted our right to protest. Admin trying to silence our protests and encampments only show that they are scared of student power and continue to support the genocide of Palestinians. Shame on Dean McDonald and all of USF admin for this blatant attack on free speech and shame on them for calling in cops to brutalize students!

We condemn USFPD for exerting brutal force against student protestors and arresting 3 of them. Using brutal force against students including kneeling on a student’s neck is nothing short of deadly. This is part of a recurring pattern as we’ve seen the same USFPD officers that incited deadly violence on students on March 6 of 2024 to what we were put through today with the same deadly force in response to a student protest. Shame on USFPD for using deadly force on students!

We call on all students and faculty to show out for the encampment Tuesday April 30, at 10 am at MLK Plaza.

All faculty out to protect students!

Disclose! Divest! We will not stop we will not rest!

#TampaFL #FL #StudentMovement #SDS #AntiWarMovement #International #MiddleEast #Palestine #USF #Statement #TampaBaySDS #Occupy4Gaza