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The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

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Opinion | Return of the summer bucket list
Opinion | Return of the summer bucket list
By Delaney Rauscher Adams, Staff Columnist • May 28, 2024
Opinion | Do not arrest peaceful protesters
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • May 23, 2024

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Opinion | Return of the summer bucket list
Opinion | Return of the summer bucket list
By Delaney Rauscher Adams, Staff Columnist • May 28, 2024
Opinion | Do not arrest peaceful protesters
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • May 23, 2024

‘Hear us’: Protestors call for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, support for Yemen

A+woman+wearing+a+keffiyeh+speaks+to+protesters+during+Monday+afternoon%E2%80%99s+%E2%80%9CHands+Off+Yemen%E2%80%9D+protest+in+Schenley+Plaza.
Nate Yonamine | Assistant Visual Editor
A woman wearing a keffiyeh speaks to protesters during Monday afternoon’s “Hands Off Yemen” protest in Schenley Plaza.

About 100 people gathered in Schenley Plaza Monday evening to protest the recent United States airstrikes on Yemen

“On this day, what would be Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 95th birthday, you are here because you honor his fight for freedom. You are coming out in these numbers to say ‘no,’” a speaker at the event said. 

The U.S. struck several parts of the country that are controlled by the Houthi rebel group and said to contain their facilities in response to the group’s attacks on vessels linked to Israel in the Red Sea. This comes in the midst of an escalation of violence in Gaza and Israel since October

The Pittsburgh Party for Socialism and Liberation held the protest, which they called “Hands off Yemen,” to call for a ceasefire in Gaza along with an end to “US money for murder and genocide in Yemen or Palestine.” 

“Yemen cares. They bravely say, ‘Stop taking human lives in Gaza.’ Despite famine, they are the only country putting themselves in harm’s way,” Sabrina Kaye, a member of the Pittsburgh Palestine Coalition, said in her speech. 

Kaye called not only for a ceasefire, but for political acknowledgment from elected officials, including Senator John Fetterman and President Joe Biden, and for young voices to speak out. Kaye and other protestors chanted, “Yemen, Yemen, make us proud, turn another ship around!” in response to a U.S.-owned ship being struck by Houthi fighters on Monday

“It’s simple. Just like a ceasefire will get the Yemenis to stop their blockade, a ceasefire will get the hostages released,” Kaye said.

Kaye further specified PPC’s goals and beliefs. 

“We need this genocide to end,” Kaye said, “And, yes, we support Yemen.”

The “Hands off Yemen” rally took place in the center of Pitt’s campus.  Kaye said the organizations chose this location to get “important” young voices involved and to educate them on political stances. 

“It’s important for young voices to get involved, to know who your political candidates are, what they stand for, whether or not they take money from AIPAC organizations,” Kaye said. 

Olivia Ghabi, a sophomore biochemical major, agreed with Kaye that “it’s important to be here,” especially on a university campus. 

“That’s what universities are for,” Ghabi said, “it’s to educate. And I don’t think education stops at what your focus of study is, but you should be aware of things that are happening in the world.”

Ghabi shared her resonance with the protests as a Palestinian-Jordanian woman. She said  “it hits home” since she has family that had to move to Jordan after the first Nakba, and “start from scratch.”

“I see the pain in my father’s eyes, my family’s eyes,” Ghabi said. “I have family in Jordan right now; so I’m showing up for them, for my grandfather, and also just as a human being.”

A key point emphasized by speakers during the protest was that labor forces should stand up against “imperialism all over the world.” Ghabi said she agrees with the speakers on this, and sides with working-class individuals who are taking a stand. 

“We really can’t get scared of [imperialists] just basically bullying people into submission, because that’s certainly not what I want to do,” Ghabi said. “There’s a lot of people in the world who are willing to take a stance, and it’s very possible that we could actually turn this around.”

The group of mostly community members and students chanted “Shut it down!” and “Long live Palestine” while holding signs that read “Stop the genocide, end the occupation” and “U.S. hands off Yemen.” 

Kaye reminded protestors of the power of voting. 

“We are a barrier to their evil agendas,” Kaye said. “If you do not hear us, then we will not vote for you. Come November, we will remember.”

Kaye and other protestors hope for action from countries around the world supporting Palestine.

“In Palestine, there can be no justice and no peace while there is occupation.”

About the Contributor
Briana Bindus, Staff Writer