Campus, News

Student letters to Congress request Palestinian ceasefire

In a joint effort to call for a ceasefire in Palestine, LMU and SJP hosted an event outside of the Psychology building on Nov. 6.

From 2-5:30 p.m., LMU and SJP provided QR codes, multiple prompts and postcards on two tables for students on campus. Interested students could register to vote to begin the process, chose a congress representative and then select or build upon a pre-written prompt to request a ceasefire in Palestine.

Rida Hamida, executive director of LMU, said her grassroots organization strives to build community and cultivate positive social change by fighting bigotry and economic injustice all over Southern California.

Hamida assisted students at the event with the process of voter registration and proper postcard signage. She urged students to submit their letters to U.S. Congress Representatives who support a ceasefire like Barbara Lee and Maxine Waters..

“The goal is that every student knows who their member of Congress is,” Hamida said. “We share our civil right to ensure that no child nor innocent people should be killed. We are pleading with Congress to ceasefire and end the massacre of children and families that have no place in this assault.”

LMU and SJP provided pizza, cookies and drinks for students that participated in the letter signing. Additionally, signage allowed for submission to SJP’s raffle of Keffiyehs, Palestinian flags and the state’s tricolored stripes on bracelets and necklaces.

The Beach's Students for Justice in Palestine's table, with Palestinian flags, accessories, and Keffiyehs. Once students participated in the post card signage, they had a chance to win one of these items from a raffle, or, they could be purchased to further support SJP.
The Students for Justice In Palestine’s table with a collection of Palestinian flags, accessories and Keffiyehs. The Keffiyeh is a Palestinian scarf adorned with several historic emblems – the fishnet pattern represents the relationship of the Palestinian fisherman to the Jordanian sea, the sea waves signify strength and the bold lines represent the state’s trade routes. Photo credit: Julia Goldman

These items could also be purchased to support Palestinian relief, funeral costs, SJP and future community building projects.

Hana, a biology major and member of SJP was one of the students at the event to voice her request for a ceasefire in a written postcard. She requested her last name not be disclosed to guard her identity and safety.

“I am Palestinian, so this is a very big deal to me,” Hana said. “I have family in Gaza, I have family in Palestine who have been direct victims to all the bombings and genocide happening there. They’ve been cut off from water, electricity, food – and are being constantly bombed.”

Hana said reaching out to representatives for a ceasefire and humanitarian aid is the most important thing right now. She also said it was hard knowing there is only a limited amount of things that she could do to help her family in Palestine.

“Most of the time we don’t even know if whether or not they’re still alive. We still haven’t been able to contact them for several days,” Hana said. “So, it’s definitely hard but we do what we can to show our support, it’s really all we can do.”

A first-year Liberal Studies major was passing through campus when they first noticed the event after hearing shouts of “free pizza.” The student requested anonymity after overhearing a SJP member say they received death threats.

They said they were interested in participating in the ceasefire request when they saw a crowd with Palestinian flags.

Students gathered outside of the Psychology building to fill out these postcards, provided by LMU and SJP. Students had to be registered voters, address a chosen Congress representative and properly assign their mailing for postcards to be a viable ceasefire request.
Students gathered outside of the Psychology building to fill out these postcards, provided by LMU and SJP. Students had to be registered voters, address a chosen Congress representative and properly assign their mailing for postcards to be a viable ceasefire request. Photo credit: Julia Goldman

“I’ve read a lot about the history of Palestine,” they said. “Right now, especially right now, there has to be a ceasefire. So many innocent people are dying.”

Hamida said that over the course of five days, LMU’s postcard action in Orange County had 1,300 postcards signed and sent to Congress. The postcards students signed on campus on Nov. 6 will add to that total.

Isaiah Sanchez, a fourth-year business major and member of SJP at Long Beach State said they were at the event to spread awareness and educate as many people as possible. Their biggest goal was for a hopeful push for a ceasefire.

“We’re trying our best,” Sanchez said. “I think with the turnout that’s here today, it’s a good step in the right direction.”

This article was edited on Nov. 19, 2023 for accuracy. 

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