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Texas students oppose attacks on diversity, then rally in support of Palestine

By Justin Bent

 Students wearing keffiyehs and waving Palestinian flags surround one student giving a speech in front of a brick building

Arlington TX - On Wednesday, October 18, the Progressive Student Union (PSU) organized two rallies on the campus of University of Texas Arlington.

At noon, PSU and other members of the community gathered in front of the University Center to speak out against Senate Bill 17 which prohibits the presence of offices around diversity equity and inclusion initiatives and other practices to limit discrimination and lack of representation. The chant “Defend, diversity! Defend, diversity!” could be heard from the megaphones, and the energy gathered was used to march onto the University Hall where the second rally around support for Palestine was held at 1 p.m.

This rally was originally planned to take place within a room where a local political science professor, known for downplaying the oppression of Palestinians and the Israeli regime, was leading a Q&A event around the “Israel-Hamas conflict.” The crowd was prohibited by campus police to enter the room on the grounds of overcrowding, despite many students walking out of the event in disgust, so it was decided to hold the rally right outside of the building. The crowd grew to a peak of 200 as speeches and chants calling out the genocidal war crimes of the Israeli government and the need for Palestinian liberation were expressed by all who gathered. 

The rally went on from 1 to 1:30 p.m., at which point PSU members led a march onto the front of the Central Library where a list of demands of the UTA administration was delivered to the crowd by several members of the organization. The high energy and solidarity of the crowd would carry this rally to its end an hour later in front of the Central Library.

#ArlingtonTX #StudentMovement #FreePalestine #UTA #Diversity #AffirmativeAction