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RHS Hawk Eye

The Student News Site of Renton High School

RHS Hawk Eye

The Student News Site of Renton High School

RHS Hawk Eye

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University of Washington Student Protests Against the War in the Middle East

Many students throughout Washington have been protesting the war in the  Middle East between Palestine and Israel. A dueling debate over the war took  center stage at the University of Washington on Sunday, May 12th, 2024.  

An encampment on the UW campus, called Popular University for Gaza, includes  more than 100 tents for Pro-Palestine. The university asked protesters last week  to remove their tents, saying its response to calls for change would “not be based  on an encampment.” Pro-Palestinian protesters at the University of Washington  

say they will not disband their encampment unless the school cuts ties with  Boeing, divests from Israel, and ends alleged repression of pro-Palestinian  students and faculty. More than 500 pro-Israel counterprotesters organized a  non-denominational church on campus as well, gathering on Red Square and  around the perimeter of the fortified encampment. Their counter-protest, United  for Israel, sent the message, “[We] would like the protesters to open their minds  to understand why what they’re doing is hurtful,” stated Weiss – one of the  student protesters for Pro-Israel. Weiss said he is offended by the message of  those in the encampment, and yet pro-Palestinian protesters said they see it  differently. ¨Anti-Semitism is not the same thing as anti-Zionism,¨ said Juliette  Majid, a student protester in support of the Palestinians. ¨Anti-Zionism is standing  against the apartheid state that Israel is inflicting upon the Palestinian people. It  is about standing against the genocide.” Conversely, Weiss said, ¨I do think that  anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. Itś anti-Semitism.”  

The debate currently continues without any resolution at any time soon. In the  meantime, the student protests continue.  

ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Washington) states students  can express their political views at school. According to the First Amendment of  the U.S. Constitution and Article 1, Section 5 of the Washington Constitution  guarantees freedom of speech and freedom of the press to all people, including  students.  

This includes: 

  • wearing buttons, badges, armbands, or shirts with messages • speaking up in class or other school settings about your views • posting notices on school bulletin boards or distributing petitions
  • handing out other printed materials, such as leaflets 
  • writing in public school newspapers and yearbooks, or unofficial publications  (like student-led newspapers). 

 

(Picture of a student holding a sign supporting the right to protest.)

 

Sources: 

https://www.axios.com/local/seattle/2024/05/15/uw-student-protesters-encampment refuse-to-leave 

https://www.king5.com/article/news/local/pro-israel-counterprotest-marches-uw encampment/281-8ee30a39-cbba-4eed-a28e-ad60674154cc 

https://www.thefire.org/research-learn/fires-faq-student-protests-campus Student Political Speech, Protest, and Walkouts

 

 

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About the Contributor
Raymond Richards
Raymond Richards, Journalist
It's my 10th Grade year. I have 2 dogs (Max and Rose).