Before peace, there must be justice.
That was the message that SJP came with as we stood in silent protest last Friday. We had marched through the mall area holding signs, Palestine regalia, and duck tape on our mouths before coming to stand near a ‘Peace’ rally for Israel.
We were not there to disrupt them. Nor were we there to argue with them. We were there to make our voices heard on campus. We wanted to show that there are people on our University who stand for justice, instead of empty calls for peace that don’t address the real problems.
With this demonstration we, and the surrounding community, publicly denounced the oppressive living conditions of Palestinians in historic Palestine that are a result of the continued illegal Israeli occupation. We condemn the occupation and the Israeli policies that enact it as one of the most powerful actors in the conflict and the main contributor to state-sanctioned violence against all civilians who look like Arabs. We condemn the extrajudicial killings of Palestinian youth by Israeli Security Forces. We call on Israel, and the world, to recognize that the continued expansion of settlements, the threat against Al Aqsa compound, and the systematic restriction and collective punishment of Palestinians are the real problems that need to be addressed.
This recent flare-up is another example of the vast disparity and power inequality between Palestine and Israel, evidence that this is not a conflict between two equal nations but between occupier and occupied. Since October 1st, Israeli forces or settlers have killed 72 Palestinians, and injured over 2000. 9 Israelis have died in the same amount of time, with 83 injured.
We pay respects to the Palestinian martyrs executed by Israeli forces, and and we continue to work to shed light on the ongoing illegal occupation and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people.
There is no peace without justice for the Palestinian people and compliance with International Law.
Students for Justice in Palestine – UMN TC
Group Picture after the march back
JVP Representing at the front of the march
Letting the silence speak for itself.