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Long Beach State students join nationwide protests for Palestine

By: Linsey Towles and Jd Preslicka

Hundreds of student protesters settled outside of Brotman Hall around 10:30 a.m. on May 2, kicking off a day-long demonstration on the heels of college protests across the country.

Student members of L.A. F.U.E.R.Z.A, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and California Faculty Association (CFA), collaborated for the planned day-long protest the morning of May 2. The protest is expected to continue until 7 p.m.

Protesters have renamed Brotman Hall to Refaat Alareer Hall after a professor, writer and poet from Gaza who was killed by an Israeli air strike last December.

Protesters crowded Brotman Hall and chanted "Free Palestine" as they walked down the stairs and headed over to the fountain to continue the protest.
Protesters crowd Brotman Hall and chant “Free Palestine” as they walk down the stairs and head over to the fountain to continue the protest. Photo credit: Mark Siquig

Protesters used chairs, tables and umbrellas to block the pathway from the College of Business to Brotman Hall, prompting reactions from frustrated students and confrontations with protesters. A faculty member is stationed at the pathway to inform on-coming students of the demonstration.

Upon entrance, organizers handed masks and encouraged students to read through the demonstration guidelines.

The guidelines given are:

  • Wear a face covering
  • Only chant from chant sheet

Do not:

  • Engage with media/press
  • Speak on behalf of any organization
  • Engage with or provoke counter protestors/disruptors
  • Engage with police or administration
A Student for Justice in Palestine member holds a hand drawn sign listing the guidelines to follow for the SJPAT protest at CSULB’s campus. Photo by Ellie Creighton

Three Beach Alerts were issued to students beginning before 12 p.m., advising students to avoid the area of Brotman Hall due to “protest activity.”

According to the Long Beach Police Department, the LBPD has not been called in by the university and does not have any officers on stand-by.

“As with any event, the safety of both the participants and the broader campus community is very much top of mind,” Jim Milbury, news media services specialist for CSULB, said.

There were approximately three counter-protesters carrying the flag of Israel as well as an American flag. They walked throughout the crowd, with no reaction from the pro-Palestine protesters.

This is a breaking news story and more information will be added as it becomes available.

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