The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Students, community members gather to show support for Palestine

A group met in front of City Hall to protest US-supported Israeli attacks
Photo by Toby Mohr
People supported Palestine outside Eau Claire City Hall Wednesday night.

Chants of “Free Palestine” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” rose from a crowd in front of the Eau Claire City Hall Wednesday night.

The group of students and community members gathered with signs and flags to show their support for Palestine and to protest the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip.

The group chanted “Free Palestine.” (Photo by Toby Mohr)

“We’re here to show the support that I feel Palestinians aren’t receiving,” Bryanna Garcia, a third-year political science and Spanish student and one of the demonstrators, said. “We’re also trying to be visible and show those who are silent that their complacency and their silence is helping the genocide.”

Hamas attacked Israeli towns on Oct. 7 killing an estimated 1,400 people. Since then, Israel has launched continuous airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, killing at least 6,546 Palestinian people, as of Oct. 25, according to Gaza’s health ministry.

Story continues below advertisement

One demonstrator, Sabre Sletten, a fifth-year psychology student, said the attacks on the Palestinian people are devastating and affect everyone.

Signs read “Free Palestine” and “Stop the Siege in Gaza.” (Photo by Toby Mohr)

“It affects all of us as human beings,” Sletten said. “Seeing what we are seeing unfold is not normal. This is not something we should ignore regardless of where we live in the world.”

The United States has supported Israel and provided military assistance and funding. President Biden reaffirmed that support on Wednesday and is asking Congress for over $14 billion in aid to Israel to fund air and missile defense, military financing and embassy support.

Sletten and Garcia said the U.S. is funding war crimes against the Palestinian people.

“We are outraged by the fact that humanitarian crimes are being committed and supported by America,” Sletten said. “Our tax dollars are going towards a genocide and it is absolutely despicable to think about that.”

Garcia said the U.S. government needs to do better.

“We need to urge our government, urge our representatives to put their words in action and to show us, as the people who voted for them, that we as a country should practice what we’re preaching,” Garcia said. “Our morals and values should reside with the people of Palestine.”

Sletten said Wednesday’s demonstration acts as a statement against U.S. support of Israel.

Others held Palestinian flags to show their support. (Photo by Toby Mohr)

“We do not accept these proxy wars America is engaging in, it is unethical,” Sletten said. “I think that just us being out here and people seeing us, is a symbol of our distaste.”

Garcia and Sletten said this is an issue that students should pay attention to and inform themselves on what is happening.  

“We hold all the power in our voice and when we are able to apply it to something as big as this it gives us the opportunity to show that young people and young voices will contribute more if we educate ourselves,” Garcia said.

“I think it is absolutely irresponsible and atrocious for the U.S. to act like this is normal and not a big deal and try to brush these war crimes under the rug,” Sletten said. “I absolutely think the American people should be showing their outrage.”

The group chanted towards cars and people going by. (Photo by Toby Mohr)

Garcia said while the violence continues, her heart is with the people in Palestine.

“I want the people of Palestine to know that I see them and that the children in Gaza are seen,” Garcia said. “We do hear them and we do care.”

Mohr can be reached at [email protected].

View Comments (2)
More to Discover

Comments (2)

The Spectator intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. The Spectator does not allow anonymous comments and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Spectator Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • K

    Keith DanielsOct 30, 2023 at 10:11 am

    The antisemitism of these “protesters “ is amazing. More people per capita were killed In Israel on October 7 than died in the USA on 9/11. Calling for a free Palestine ignores history. Israel has twice offered an independent Gaza and West Bank which was rejected by the Palestinians. Also, there are Christian and Muslim Israelis who died on October 7, fought off the terrorists, and serve in the Knesset and the Israeli Defense Force.

    • S

      SophiaNov 7, 2023 at 4:15 pm

      Hello Keith,
      The protestors are not being antisemetic. They are not saying that Jewish people are bad. They are simply saying that Palestinians, like all people, deserve basic rights. I hope this helps you understand their perspective.