Angela Davis stood with pro-Palestinian demonstrators at Auraria campus over the weekend

A Colorado State Patrol officer speaks with an armed Colorado State Patrol officer at Tivoli Quad on Friday, April 26.Dozens of students were arrested while protesting Israel’s ongoing murders of Palestinians in Gaza. Photo Courtesy of Rossana Longo Better.

Student protests have been happening on campuses across the nation, calling for an end to the war in Gaza. These demonstrations, often involving tent encampments and occupations of campus spaces, have led to numerous student arrests.

Over the weekend in Denver, at the Auraria campus, dozens of students were arrested by police in riot gear. They were charged with municipal offenses including trespassing and interference, according to an Auraria Campus statement.

Police surrounded a pro-Palestine encampment at the Tivoli Quad, which houses the University of Colorado Denver, Metro State and the Community College of Denver, around 12:30 p.m. Friday afternoon. Protesters were warned they’d be arrested or ticketed if they stayed, but continued to link arms around the encampment and continue to promote their pro-Palestine demonstration.

KGNU’s Rossana Longo Better attended the rally, and spoke with both pro-Palestine and pro-Israel attendees.


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    Untitled Jackie Sedley

One student protester named Sean – he didn’t want to share his last name – attended the protest to stand against CU’s funding of Israel’s murder of Palestinians.

“So basically we’re paying for a war to kill other people, and the protest is to say, we don’t want college campuses to be funding these wars,” said Sean. “We don’t want our government to be funding these corrupt wars and these fascist f**ks.”

He described police activity he’d witnessed just before talking to Rossana.

“These police were moving their vehicles and as they were moving their vehicles, hit a lady on, on foot with their vehicles and then proceeded to tackle. With like multiple police officers and arrest her and drag her to the thing for no apparent reason as as one of the other ladies is screaming and they don’t even think they were even part of the protest you know they were just walking by.”

Sean was very opposed to police presence on campus.

“This is not their property. This is a college campus property. We pay tuition to be here. We have every right to voice our freedom of speech and what we feel is right. We have not caused any harm or any call of violence towards any other person and this presence on this campus is incredibly uncalled for. Over, grossly, blown-up when it started out as a very peaceful campsite this morning where people locked arms and were doing nothing but peacefully protesting the unjustness of this nation.”

Sean says the police presence at college campus demonstrations like DUs is an example of corruption, and that it must stop.

“We, we’ve learned nothing from the BLM movement and these police are continuously being brutal, unjust, and unrealistic to the reality of what the protest is. And they should not be here, nor do they have the right to stifle a person’s freedom of speech. Now, if there is, if there is some sort of violence, if someone is threatening the building by throwing a brick through it or something, you know, that’s a different situation. But these people are peaceful and then they just came in here and started arresting ’em for no reason. And that’s uncalled for.”

Pro-Palestine protestors demonstrate at Tivoli Quad in Denver. Photo Courtesy of Rossana Longo Better.

Rossana also spoke with Spencer Edris, a cybersecurity student at CU Denver. Edris is pro-Israel, and said he felt shut out by the protestors when he tried to express his opposing viewpoints.

“They’re just shutting me down. So it really seems like, uh, these people are just following like sheep, they don’t even care what they’re doing. They don’t even understand what they’re doing here. They’re just chanting,” said Edris. “I am pro-Israel, um, I have a lot of Jewish friends, I grew up with a lot of Jewish people, I’m not from Israel and I don’t stand for the IDF, but I know that the slaughter of innocent victims, and the war between these two people is just so long and it’s just needless. There’s just a lot of blood that’s needed and you shouldn’t support Hamas, because they literally said that they were going to do October 7th again and again and again, and their statement of their, like, for their whole, like, their constitution, it says that they want to destroy Israel. From the river of the sea, that means the destruction of Israel, the death of all Jewish people, and that’s been for decades.”

Another pro-Palestine demonstrator in attendance was Angela Davis – the infamous feminist political activist and academic. She spoke to the student protestors. Apologies that the audio quality isn’t the greatest – there was only one public recording online available online at the time of the newscast, courtesy of Denver/Boulder Jewish Voices for Peace and the Denver Branch of the Party for Socialism and Liberation.

“I want to emphasize what this means for history,” said Davis. “As you imagine this period being narrated ten years, 20 years, 50 years from now, you will be the historical actors who made it possible for a breakthrough in the struggle against Zionism. I wanted you to know that, as a person who has been involved in the movement to develop solidarity with Palestine since, the 1960s, this is the moment we have all been waiting for.

As for me, unfortunately now deceased friend, June Jordan, constantly said when she was alive, she was a real pioneer in encouraging black solidarity with Palestine. She made the point that Palestine is a moral litmus test for struggles against justice This is a moment that marks a breakthrough in the effort to discredit Zionism, to challenge Zionism, to challenge Zionism effectively, and I have the feeling that we’re moving in the right, fair, direction. Because you, students, faculty, workers, liked you all over the country from, uh, From Columbia, to Brown, to NYU, I can’t even name all of the encampments that are calling for divestment on college and university campuses everywhere. But, I cannot tell you how you make me feel.

I have struggled for decades and decades. I realize that this is what we’ve been struggling for. And I stand here, not as an individual, but to bear witness for all of those who have been involved in this struggle. to generate solidarity with Palestine, justice for Palestine, freedom for Palestine. And Palestine can be free than the entire world can be free.”

KGNU will continue to keep you updated on the student arrests that occurred as a result of these demonstrations.

Pro-Palestine protestors gathered at Tivoli Quad in Denver on Friday, April 26. Dozens were arrested. Photo Courtesy of Rossana Longo Better.
Jackie Sedley

Jackie Sedley


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