Columbia University Students Maintain Gaza Solidarity Sit-in amid Growing Support (+Video)

Columbia University Students Maintain Gaza Solidarity Sit-in amid Growing Support (+Video)

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – For the fifth consecutive day, hundreds of Columbia University students and activists persisted in an open sit-in at the Gaza Solidarity Encampment on the New York State campus.

Outside support swelled on Saturday as protesters returned to bolster the students, armed with sleeping bags and books.

"This is nothing compared to what people in Palestine are dealing with. People in Gaza are starving. They have lost everything. Their homes and their apartments have been bombed. So we really feel like we have a moral obligation to continue doing what is right," emphasized graduate student Layla Saliba, highlighting the underlying motivation driving the ongoing protest.

Saliba underscored a noticeable shift within the solidarity encampment since Thursday's university call-in, stating, "The mass arrests and the suppression of students - I'd say that's galvanized us."

Council member Tiffany Caban denounced the university's response, stating, "Here they are showing leadership, and they're being censored and punished for it and it's wrong."

The students' core aim remains expressing solidarity with the Palestinian people and advocating for their rights to freedom and independence. This includes demanding divestments from the Israeli occupation and the cessation of financial aid to Israel.

Despite facing charges of trespassing and suspensions for defying school regulations, the students remain resolute in their stance. The ongoing sit-in within the encampment erected in the university square signifies their unwavering determination.

Support for the students extends beyond campus borders, with thousands rallying outside the university in solidarity with the ongoing sit-in.

Amidst the diverse showing of support, Allyson Fairbanks, a Jewish woman, condemned both Israel's military response in Gaza and Columbia's handling of the situation. "They're on the wrong side of history, Columbia University," Fairbanks asserted.

The students affirmed their commitment to protest until Columbia divests from companies funding genocide in Gaza.




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