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The Orion

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The Orion

Students organize pro-Palestine walkout protest on Feb. 8

Members of SWANASA advocates are not satisfied with Chico State’s response to what is happening in Palestine
Samuel Moore
Members of SWANASA group holding up a “cut ties with genocide” banner on Chico State’s campis

Students gathered on campus in front of the Performing Arts Center on Feb. 8 to protest the Israel-Palestine conflict and demand divestment in some Israeli business interests.

The group was stationed by Kendall Hall lawn from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with signs and flags in solidarity with Palestine. 

The protest was planned by South Western Asia North Africa and South Asia Advocates in Chico, an advocacy group. SWANASA previously organized other rallies and protests to raise awareness.

“The big goal of this semester is going to be to launch a divestment campaign to demand that Chico State divest from all companies funding and investing in the Israeli genocide towards Palestinians,” SWANASA advocate member and junior, Shaheera, said. Shaheera declined to give her last name.

Shaheera said that the protest was to spread awareness regarding their divestment campaign and to what is going on in Palestine.

“We want to get students to know what’s happening in Palestine and why it’s so crucial to divest,” Shaheera said.

Members of SWANASA advocates are not satisfied with Chico State’s response to what is happening in Palestine.

“We just got one statement overall which was only really in regards to Israeli folk. Not really in regards to Palestine,” Shaeera said. “We’re now at 27,000 Palestinians, half of them are children, who’ve been slaughtered and the school hasn’t said anything.” 

SWANASA advocates are optimistic they can get another statement from the school and pass a divestment resolution.

“Sacramento State did both of those successfully so we are modeling our work after that,” Shaheera said.

At Sacramento State, a student group called Students for Justice in Palestine demanded the conflict be addressed and the Associated Students of Sacramento State released a statement calling for a ceasefire and for basic services like water and food to be returned to the citizens of Gaza.

Shaheera wants students to know that things are consistently getting worse for the Palestinian people.

“It’s definitely the worst that it’s ever been,” Shaheera said. “The reason we’re not hearing as much is because journalists are being targeted and murdered.”

Shaheera said there is a lot of censorship and bias against Palestinians in the media.

“There’s a lot of things that definitely portray advocacy towards Palestinian human rights as something malicious,” she said.

She warned of the presence of Islamophobia in the media.

“The biggest thing I want students to know is that there is a lot a lot of weaponization of Islamophobia to make it seem as if we have malicious intent with what we’re doing,” she said. “But at the end of the day, our concern is towards the thousands of civilian lives who have been impacted.”

SWANASA encourages students to attend their events in order to learn more about the Palestinian people.

Sam Moore and Nadia Hill can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Samuel Moore, Reporter
Sam Moore is a senior at Chico state. This is his first semester at the Orion. Sam will be covering news and hopefully sports this semester. Sam is from San Luis Obispo, California. It is a small coastal town. Sam works as a Doordash driver in his spare time. His hobbies include playing basketball, playing video games, and relaxing.
Nadia Hill, Social Media Manager
Nadia Hill is originally from Carson City, Nevada, and is in the middle of her sophomore year. Currently, she is double-majoring in journalism (public relations) and studio arts. She is one of two social media managers on The Orion. Both writing and social justice have captivated her with the field of journalism and is excited to continue with her second semester on The Orion. In her personal time, she enjoys painting, performing and working with children.

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    Ari // Feb 21, 2024 at 4:49 pm

    Shahira should talk about Nigeria or Sudan, that’s a real genocide. Also please fact check her claims. Also never once does she describe what Islamophobia was faced. Please challenge her more.