SUNY Oswego students rally in support of Palestinian people

Students gather in the quad on SUNY Oswego’s campus to rally for the Palestinian people affected by Israel’s war in Gaza. Photo by: Kyle Schnauffer

OSWEGO, N.Y – The sound of a student body in solidarity with the Palestinian people was heard loudly this week after a recent resolution for a temporary ceasefire in Gaza has raised tensions between Israeli officials and countries like the U.S., who have backed off on their support of the nation’s military efforts.

Some SUNY Oswego students have been calling for a ceasefire in Gaza for a long time.

The Palestine rally started outside of SUNY Oswego’s Tyler Hall, where the words “Free Palestine” were spray painted onto an outdoor wall earlier this semester. The covering of the message and the campus’ response sparked dialogue among students about the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza, and led to students gathering for a rally and march in solidarity with the Palestinian people in the quad this week. 

The march was one of the many events happening on campus this week with a focus on the conflict in Gaza, with a memorial for the Palestinian lives lost, and a faculty-led panel offering insight into the history of the Israel-Palestine conflict also happening earlier in the week.

Oswego’s Students for Justice in Palestine spearheaded the rally and march, and SJP Oswego president Kaeillyn Marie led the charge as students arrived.

“I think it’s important for all students to come out and not only for just Palestine, but for all students to use their voice, because we are a nation that promotes democracy, right?” Marie said, “So that means we have to uplift and use our voice.”

The march brought students around campus chanting in support of the Palestinian lives lost in Gaza and brought students back to the quad to voice their support for the struggles of Palestinians.

Other students, like SUNY Oswego junior Jaden Jiggetts, emphasized that while they may be marching for the Palestinians, the same mantra extends to other groups facing oppression.

“If you’re in support of Black Lives Matter, and Hispanics Lives Matter, Asian Lives Matter, you gotta support Palestinian’s lives too; at the end of the day, we’re all people,” said Jiggets. “We all bleed red, we all have emotions, we all have a heart, we’re all born into this world. We all matter.”

But not everyone was in support of the march, with multiple social media posts condemning the march.

Political science professor Lisa Glidden says that the conflict between Israel and Palestine has always been contentious, and although young people speaking out on world conflicts isn’t a new thing, there are some new elements to it this time around.

“The advent of social media and how widespread it is means we’re seeing a lot more imagery of it,” said Glidden. “Students may be feeling like they can’t speak out about it or they’re not comfortable speaking out and I think it kind of just reached a tipping point.”