SIU Edwardsville students protest Israeli genocide in Gaza

About 50 people gathered for a peaceful protest outside the Vadalabene Center at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville on May 4, drawing attention to the ongoing conflict in Gaza and the recent injury of an SIUE professor at a demonstration in St. Louis.

“I appreciate Dr. Tamari very much, I've known him for a long time and I felt like I had to do something to support him because the administration here wouldn't do that,” said SIUE protest organizer Brad Roderick from St. Louis. “He sacrificed a lot for the human rights movement in Palestine.”

Roderick, who claimed to be with the Revolutionary Communists of America, said he also wanted to give SIUE students the opportunity to get involved in the movement in the United States to support Palestinians who are facing what some U.N Officials call genocide in Gaza.

“I don't want to live in a world where I have to listen to a call from a six-year-old girl crying to helpers and begging to be rescued, only to find out that Israeli forces have murdered the people trying to save her.” said Roderick.

Tori Roderick, co-organizer of the protest from Collinsville, said the demonstration was also intended to point the finger at the SIUE government.

“The purpose is to condemn the Chancellor and the government for not committing to Dr. Tamari, who was mistreated by police at Wash U,” said Tori Roderick. “We want a statement condemning the events at Wash U.”

Saturday's protest, with chanted slogans and signs, took place directly in front of the building, where more than 2,200 SIUE students took part in the opening ceremonies. The demonstration took place under the watchful eye of campus officials and local law enforcement and did not appear to disrupt the proceedings inside.

“We are here today to support our graduates and the First Amendment right to assemble. We fully support students being heard,” said SIUE Communications Director Nicole Franklin. “We are an institution that supports diverse perspectives. Professor Tamari is a faculty member here and we support his right to protest.”

Anna Harden

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