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Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

The Student News Site of Sonoma State University

Sonoma State Star

    SSU workers and alumni march for Palestine in Courtyard Square

    Locals in Downtown Santa Rosa protest the ongoing bombing in Gaza and the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
    Albert Levine
    Protesters in the Santa Rosa Plaza on Nov. 17.

    On Tuesday Nov. 17 roughly 100 protestors gathered in the Downtown Santa Rosa Courtyard Square to protest the ongoing bombing in Gaza and the Israeli occupation of Palestine.

    “We’re calling awareness for a ceasefire in Gaza to stop the killing,” said Tarik, a worker at Sonoma State. “We don’t expect the government to do anything, so the best target is public opinion,” he said.

    “This is not a new subject,” said Tarik. “People don’t know the history. People should know that what happened on Oct. 7 was a result of many many years of brutal occupation.”

    The event was organized by Sonoma County for Palestine, a group of Sonoma County community members calling and advocating for a ceasefire in Gaza. The group has been protesting every Sunday in the downtown courtyard.

    Protestors gathered in the Courtyard Friday evening before marching down 4th Street, chanting for a ceasefire.

    Some protesters held signs up to the windows as they marched by the surrounding businesses, only for most dining attendees to avoid eye contact with the march outside. “12,000 Palestinians living in Gaza, which is already an open air prison, and has been for 16 years, are being bombed to death, and we want that stopped,” said Therese Mughannam, an activist on behalf of Palestine.

    Mughannam used to speak at Sonoma State every fall during the War and Peace Lecture Series by the University. However, she has yet to be invited back since Covid.

    “Our government has a duty and a responsibility to make sure that stops, they’re human beings just like us,” Mughannam said. “I’m Palestinian. This isn’t even about Jews and Palestinians. It’s about human beings, when you corner somebody like that for 16 years and in an open air prison,– you can’t do that to people.”

    As the protestors reached the end of Fourth Street, the march extended into the Santa Rosa Plaza. Chants to Boycott Starbucks began under the logo that hung in the front en- trance. Some Starbucks workers cheered in solidarity, with one worker raising their first in the air as the protestors through the mall.

    The march was peaceful, with shoppers and walkers alike peering down from the rails above to see the demonstration, and some taking out their phones to record the march happening below.

    “My great-grandfather is a Holocaust survivor and was a member of the Danish resistance. I grew up in a household that was very Pro-Jew, and being so close to the Jewish community, that also means that I see the same story in Palestine,” said Tess Toldhwoss, Sonoma State alumni from Class of 2022.

    “Since I was a child, my family has been pro Palestine, because what they experienced during the Holocaust, is five years worth of what Palestinians have been experiencing for 75. So that’s the real reason why I’m out here,” said Toldhwoss.

    “Be the person who you believe you are. Take a stand for humanity and take a stand for others,” said TLM, a SSU Alumni from the class of 1991 and Business Management major.

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    About the Contributor
    Albert Levine, Staff Writer
    Albert Levine is a third year communication studies major at Sonoma State.
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