CSUB students and faculty march in support for Palestine

May 9, 2024 /

College students throughout the nation have been protesting and having encampments on campuses in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza and have called for universities to divest from companies that support and fund Israel. Since Israel launched their attack in Gaza for the Israel-Hamas war last October it has been reported by Gaza’s Palestinian health officials more than 34,000 people in Gaza have been killed, two-thirds of them were women and children. 

The nationwide movement in the U.S. started on April 17 when students set up an encampment at Columbia University. When Columbia sent in police to raid the camp resulting in hundreds of students’ arrests and suspensions, it sparked more college campuses to join the movement. 

In California several public and private universities have joined the protest for the people of Gaza and arrests have been made in four on-campus encampments, including UCLA, UC San Diego, UC Davis, and Cal Poly Humboldt. 

On May 8, Cal State Bakersfield (CSUB) students, faculty, and community members gathered together for an hour-long march and expressed their support for Palestinians in Gaza and the college campuses throughout the nation that have been protesting.  

CSUB Ethnic Studies and Liberal Studies lecturer Carolyn Lane shared the idea of the protest at CSUB got started when she came to campus with a poster last week to show solidarity for Palestine, “…kind of like the UCLA protest, I thought at least I’ll come out here with my poster board and do something. But then other students were kind of coming around and saying they wanted to do something.”

Lane said as a lecturer she wanted to make sure everyone at the march would be safe so she contacted other professors and the campus police to be sure everything would go peacefully. 

“I didn’t really intend to be the leader, so to speak, but was just kind of speaking up for students that I’m hearing everywhere,” she said. 

Lane said if the students choose to attend another march she’ll be out there again to show support. 

CSUB student Mila Romer shared she was happy to have the opportunity to show support for Palestine other than on social media and hopes there will be more protests at CSUB soon. 

“I think it was a little underpromoted, but I think there are more students on campus who would like to be a part of this,” Romer said. “For me, it’s just hard seeing people suffer [in Palestine], especially because there are students in Palestine to see their schools get blown up. I think all students should have the opportunity to get their education.” 

Julnar Alazzam is a student at CSUB and part of the United Liberation Front, she said the purpose of the march was to focus on Rafah. 

“We’re doing our part from Bakersfield to make sure that the community stays engaged with what’s going on. What’s going on in Rafah right now is that Rafah was supposed to be a designated safe stone among the current genocide. And that has not been honored. And so currently Palestinians who were sheltering in Rafah are being bombed indiscriminately,” Alazzam continued. “But in addition to that, we’re also here in solidarity and joining the larger student body across the globe. Who have been standing up for Palestine and standing against the genocide that the U.S. is funding. CSUB historically hasn’t had a lot of activism on campus. So I think today’s a good start to something that will allow a lot of students to feel more comfortable, and empowered to get engaged. ”

For more information on future or upcoming pro-Palestine protests visit the United Liberation Front website.

CSUB students, faculty, and community members gather together to express their support for Palestinians in Gaza at California State University Bakersfield, May 8. 
CSUB students, faculty, and community members gather together to express their support for Palestinians in Gaza at California State University Bakersfield, May 8. 
Community members showing support for Palestinians in Gaza at California State University Bakersfield, May 8. 
CSUB students, faculty, and community members gather together to express their support for Palestinians in Gaza at California State University Bakersfield, May 8. 

Tags: , ,

Haley Duval

Haley is a reporter for Kern Sol News since December of 2023. She was born and raised in East Bakersfield and went to Foothill High School. Haley has AA in Journalism from Bakersfield College. When Haley is not reporting, she enjoys writing poetry, reading, traveling and spending time with friends and family. She can be reach at haley@southkernsol.org.