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Gainesville students hold People's Eulogy for victims of U.S. police and Israeli terror

By Michela Martinazzi |
September 10, 2014
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Tesneem Shraiteh, president of SJP speaking to protesters
Tesneem Shraiteh, president of SJP speaking to protesters (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Gainesville, FL - Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) held a rally during the busiest time of the day here, Sept. 10, to honor victims of police brutality and Palestinians murdered by Israeli forces. Approximately 30 students stopped by and watched as the rally unfolded its anti-imperialist message.

Aptly named The People’s Eulogy, the rally focused on individuals murdered by the police and the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), and aimed to humanize them. Protesters held signs modeled after gravestones with the faces of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Mohammed abu Khdeir and others to create a visual impact for the people walking by.

The speeches made draw parallels between the murderous police forces in the U.S. and the brutal Israeli military and showed how both of them are results of U.S. imperialism.

Tesneem Shraiteh, president of Students for Justice in Palestine, explained the connection between police brutality in the U.S. and the IDF, stating, “The highly militarized police we have witnessed oppressing the people of Ferguson were trained by the brutal and inhumane force known as the IDF. The murder in cold blood of Palestinians such as Mohammad Sanokrot and Issa Qatari is just one of the reasons Palestinians stand in solidarity with the families of unarmed black men such as John Crawford, Eric Garner and Mike Brown.”

Jonathan Waring, a lead organizer with SDS, used this event to also announce the campaign that the group would be working on for the rest of the semester, stating, “Today was important to memorialize those killed by the police state while also calling attention to the militarization of the police and the political repression that comes with it. It’s for this very reason that we’re calling for the firing of all cops who murder innocent people and the de-militarization of our campus!”

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