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UW-Milwaukee SDS rally demands library name change to honor Palestinian martyrs

By Samia Saeed

Milwaukee SDS rally demands library named for Zionist be changed. | Fight Back! News/staff

Milwaukee, WI – On Monday, December 11, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), alongside other students and community members, gathered at the Golda Meir Library to launch their Divest from Israel campaign and to honor the Palestinian martyrs.

The event began with speeches from the representatives of University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) Muslim Students Association and Un-PAC. Then SDS representatives officially announced the launch of the Divest from Israel Campaign and congratulated the Tampa 5 on their recent victory against political repression. This was followed by a Muslim prayer.

SDS member and emcee Patricia Fish said, “Golda Meir was a Zionist known for her crimes against Palestine,” adding, “She was the prime minister of Israel from 1969 to 1974, and SDS is here to demand that they change the name of the library.”

Apart from the demand to change the name of the UWM library, as part of their Divest from Israel campaign, SDS also demands that the university cut all ties to weapon manufacturers that are aiding the genocide in Palestine and that it put an immediate stop to all study abroad trips to Israel.

In his address to the crowd, Zaid Dahir, a Muslim Students Association leader, recognized the importance of Milwaukee student organizers holding their institutions accountable and protesting even while student organizations all around are being shut down, stating, “It is crucial to recognize that protesting and boycotting are not acts of hostility to any particular group but rather expressions of our commitment to justice, human rights, and the fundamental principles of equality.”

The attendees were then invited to write the names of Palestinians martyred by Israeli forces, some with relatives in Milwaukee, on the pillars around the library using chalk.

The very next day, starting at 9 a.m., the university admin staff began erasing the names off the pillars with water. SDS organized a response, resulting in a demonstration on December 14 that saw them project a video of the names of thousands of Palestinians who were killed from October 7 until October 20. The intent was to do something to honor the martyrs that the university couldn’t simply wash away.

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