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Hundreds rally for Palestine in Fullerton

People of all ages chanted, cheered and rallied to call for a ceasefire in Palestine this past Sunday. Protesters banged drums, waved colorful flags and held signs at the entrance of the city of Fullerton to attract the cars entering the city’s downtown.

The pro-Palestine protest was put on by four different groups, Catholics for Palestine, Palestinian Christians for Justice, Orange County for Justice in Palestine and SoCal Ceasefire Coalition. Protesters showed their support for the Palestinian people.

Banners were dropped over the railways saying, “Free Palestine” and “Stop Genocide Ceasefire Now.” Created by OC Banner Drop 4 Palestine, the banners overlooked the bustling downtown entrance as cars drove by honking and waving peace signs to show their support.

The protest was around a three mile drive from California State University, Fullerton and had many students joining to show their support. Demonstrators of all ages and backgrounds chanted along and listened to the guest speakers.

Palestinian-American Sarah Deek spoke about her involvement with the war, having a majority of her family living in the West Bank.

“We recognize those buildings and those roads getting blown up to bits, we recognize our family and the people of Gaza and we see how much pain they are in,” Deek said. “I’m highlighting the importance of community for Palestinians. Palestinians in solidarity is the most protected mechanism we face in our current environment.”

Long Beach State student Kae Hernandez, a member of the Students for Justice in Palestine chapter at CSULB, went to Fullerton to demonstrate solidarity along with their partner and sister.

“I came out to Fullerton today because I saw a lack of support and organization at Cal State [Long Beach] and decided that this is the closest thing to organize and do our part,” Hernandez said. “We’re trying to organize and see if we can get some resources for if we’re gonna go to USC or UCLA.”

Sydney Baraket, lead organizer of Catholics for Palestine was one of the main supporters of the protest. Although the group has only been active since October 2023, they have garnered a steady following, with another successful protest happening this past March.

She observed that although the pro-Palestine protest marked Fullerton’s first, CSUF had already hosted several in support of the cause.

The recent student protests that have occurred across the country have made national headlines. While many students wish to show their support by participating in these actions, university officials have not given their approval of the protests.

“Part of today’s goal was to let people be aware of that [student support] because we all know that the universities are super important […] They’re all banning together and doing encampments and protests,” Baraket said.

“They’re a part of this, whether they’re physically here, they’re definitely here with us in spirit and momentum,” she said.

Mostapha K, who would not give his last name, is a Fullerton local who attended the protest with Edgar Gonzalez, a student at the local community college. While there have been no protests regarding Palestine at his college, an encampment was in the works.

“They’re arresting students,” K said. “They will eventually arrest students here.”

Demonstrators walked and chanted in the heat finishing underneath the bridge that welcomes to the city’s downtown area.

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