Richland Student Media

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Richland Student Media

Richland Student Media

Dallas


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Richland Chronicle 5/07/24
Richland Chronicle 5/07/24

Chants echo as students protest for Palestine

Students chant “Free Free Free Palestine!” while walking through the East Breezeway at Richland on May 2.                                       (Staff Photo/Aislyn Smith)

“Free, free, free Palestine!”

Student voices echoed through the Dallas College Richland Campus May 2 as Palestinian supporters gathered to protest.

The Muslim Student Association began above El Paso Hall in the breezeway, but the large group of protesters, estimated by Malak Elkady to be about 25 students, traveled around campus in order to spread the message. The chanting was led by a few students in particular, including Ahmad Elsafadi, Leen Al-Jame and Aya El-Sawa.

Elsafadi planned for the protest to be peaceful and yet just as influential as other protests happening around the United States.

“The purpose of today’s walkout is to spread awareness. Although Richland is not directly affiliated with the Zionist organizations, we are doing this to bring awareness to them.” Elsafadi said some of the Zionist organizations are big brands such as Coca-Cola or Starbucks.

“We are going to stay peaceful,” Elsafadi said. “Many of the other universities across the United States have been peaceful, so we are going to also be peaceful as well.”

Despite their claims that the protest would be entirely peaceful, campus police still gathered along the sidelines of the group. They watched and waited to step in should the protest grow out of hand, but ultimately just escorted the group of protesters around campus as they chanted.

Fnu Khudeeja, a student at the protest, felt secure while she walked with the group.

“It’s a pretty safe community, not too big, so I don’t think we will have any problems,” Khudeeja said. “We are here so that people can be educated about this and learn about the struggle and suffering of the Palestinian people,” she added.

Right down from where the protest was held, Richland staff and faculty enjoyed an employee picnic. The protesters approached the picnic multiple times, chanting. However, they made no effort to impede the picnic, or the employees’ lunches.

Some of the employees gathered appeared to be uncomfortable with the protesting, while others took out their phones to film the students. Dr. Kathryn Eggleston, president of Richland Campus, was at the picnic, and said, “Our students are expressing their opinions in designated areas, and we support the freedoms of the students to do that.”

“It’s a peaceful march in support of Palestine,” Eggleston said. “We have to certainly encourage students to explore and extract their opinions in ways that do not disrupt the work of the campus, and they are certainly doing that.”

While there are currently no plans for future walks to be hosted by MSA, Elsafadi said that MSA would continue to work to bring awareness for Palestine in the future.

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