Organizers at the University of Michigan and Stanford speak out about what’s happening on their campuses as part of growing crackdowns by universities.

by Natasha Ishak, Prism

As more pro-Palestine protests emerge on university campuses in the months since Israel first began its military assault on Gaza, university administration crackdowns against student organizers have also increased. On college campuses, pro-Palestine supporters have been subjected to threats of expulsion, silencing tactics, arrests, online harassment, and physical assault.

On Feb. 23, 18 student organizers were arrested at Stanford University during a demonstration. The students were affiliated with the Sit-in to Stop Genocide (SITSG), a grassroots student-led campaign that saw campus organizers occupy Stanford’s central plaza 24/7 for 120 days since Israel’s siege of Gaza intensified in October.

students hold flags and protest banners at a palestine protest

“[The sit-in] has always been about making sure that business cannot continue as usual,” said Farah Tantawy, a SITSG student organizer. “Making sure that on the most populated part of campus, everybody who stops by will be forced to be reminded of the genocide that is hurting Palestinians in Gaza.” Despite being the site of student dissent, the sit-in camp had largely transformed into a public community space through teach-in sessions, movie screenings, and communal dinners organized by students, Tantawy said.

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