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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Protestors urge for cease-fire in Gaza

Child holding sign reading “STOP THE GENOCIDE FREE PALESTINE” at pro-Palestine protest in Chico. Photo taken Nov. 4 Milca Elvira Chacon.

Protesters gathered at Chico’s Square Plaza on Saturday in support of Palestine.

Protest organizer Shaheera Abbasi said the idea of a protest in Chico originated through a Reddit post. It took the organizers one week to put everything together.

“I’m really glad to see so many people out here in support and I hope that this is not the end of it,” Abbasi said. “I hope this is not the peak. I hope it just starts today.”

Protesters shouted chants such as “Free Palestine” and “Hey Hey, Ho Ho, Zionism has got to go.”

Protestors Hal and Arin Shaban came from Redding to show their solidarity.

“Especially in Redding, like up north, we don’t have a lot of protests like these,” Hal said. “And it’s just really important to come out to the ones we do have and to just show up and show people that they’re cared about and that they aren’t alone, and that this shit is fucked.” 

Some protestors felt personal connections to the conflict, relating the history of their indigenous ancestors in the U.S.

“It’s just a horrible sense of deja vu. Like history repeating itself, just not my people. It’s their people,” chairperson of the Peace and Freedom Party of Butte County, Yahmo Ahqha said.

Melys Jerez and others were also present on behalf of the activist group NorCal Resist. They handed out free coffee, hot cocoa and tea. 

“Whether or not you believe that one side is good or the other, at the end of the day, these are human lives,” Jerez said.

“When they say, you know, ‘from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,’ they’re not calling for the murder of all people that call themselves Israelis. No, they’re just calling for not having a colonial occupation,” Ahqha said.

Community member Jason Bramson was walking downtown when he heard the protest. He was curious so he came to check it out. 

“I think it’s ridiculous that they’re saying ‘Free Palestine’ when the Hamas terrorist group killed over 1,000 Jews,” Bramson said. “I’m not sure what their message is.”

Bramson said that people should be concerned about the victims of the Hamas attacks and the Israeli hostages currently in Gaza.

“It’s pretty sad. There’s a lot of antisemitism and it shouldn’t be like that in the world,” Bramson said. 

Dan Erickson was taking a bike ride downtown when he happened upon the protest. 

“Hamas sucks. The Israeli government sucks. Jewish people are great,” Erickson said. “It’s governments that are fighting, not people.”

Erickson said he is pessimistic and doubtful that a solution to the conflict exists. 

“Talk to the older people and they have a hatred of the other side, and that’s no way to get a solution,” Erickson said. “They should be eating together. Not separately.”

The protest organizers are calling for all students to walk out of class on Thursday to call for a ceasefire. 

To watch video coverage and interviews at the protest click here


Molly Myers, Callum Standish and Milca Elvira Chacon can be reached at [email protected] or [email protected].



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About the Contributors
Molly Myers, Managing Editor
Molly Myers is a transfer student from Palmdale, California. She is a journalism major also minoring in religious studies. Molly is Managing Editor at The Orion and previously worked as Editor-in-Chief. Her work is also published in Watershed Review. Getting to meet new people and hear their stories is her favorite part of being a journalist. Outside of The Orion she instructs yoga at the WREC and volunteers with the Torres Community Shelter.
Milca Elvira Chacon is a Journalism major with a minor in Broadcasting. She was a contributor for The Orion last semester, but is now officially working for the student-led newspaper. She hopes to strengthen her writing skills and contribute to stories that will positively impact the community. Outside of journalism, she enjoys hanging out with her friends and working out.

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