Hundreds walk out for Palestine, demand action from Yale
Yalies and New Haveners took part in a national walkout day in support of Palestinians in the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.
Michael Paz, Photography Editor
Members of the Yale and New Haven communities gathered on Cross Campus on Wednesday, Oct. 25, and yelled chants including “Hey, hey, ho, ho, the occupation has got to go,” “When people are occupied, resistance is justified” and “Yale, Yale, you can’t hide, you’re financing genocide” as part of a national walkout calling on universities to support Palestinians. Protesters at Yale called on Israel to end its siege of Gaza and also demanded that the University divest from weapons manufacturers supplying arms to Israel.
The University did not immediately respond to a Wednesday night request for comment on the allegations that protesters made against Yale. As of Wednesday night, the News had not yet independently verified whether Yale invests in weapons manufacturers.
At least one hundred students walked out of their classes to march down Prospect Street before gathering on Cross Campus in front of Sterling Memorial Library. Speakers shared stories and information about the Israel-Hamas war and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
The protestors demanded that the University call for an immediate end to the siege on Gaza and to divest from weapons manufacturers like Lockheed Martin. The Yale walkout joined over 100 planned Wednesday protests in support of Gaza at universities across the country; the nationwide initiative was organized by eight groups, including National Students for Justice in Palestine.
“By walking out, we are joining classmates and colleagues across the campus and across the world to demand an immediate end to Israel’s genocidal siege on Gaza, an end to U.S. funding for the occupation, and an end to the illegitimate Zionist occupation of Palestinian land,” student organization Yalies4Palestine wrote in an Instagram post advertising the event.
On Oct. 7, Hamas launched a surprise attack against Israel that killed at least 1,400 Israelis, according to reporting by the Associated Press that cites Israeli officials. Israel responded with airstrikes and a siege of Gaza, as well as a formal declaration of war against Hamas. The Associated Press reported Tuesday evening that the Hamas-run Health Ministry said that Israel’s attacks have killed at least 5,791 Palestinians in Gaza. United Nations officials have called these attacks an “unprecedented catastrophe” and “collective punishment” in violation of international law.
The event was promoted on both the Yalies4Palestine Instagram account and on the “yale_walkout_for_palestine” account, which wrote in a Tuesday post that organizers obtained a permit for the rally from the University.
Yalies4Palestine declined to comment, citing specific concerns with previous News coverage of student responses to the Israel-Hamas war and opinion pieces published in the News.
“For a university that glorifies ‘light and truth,’ Yale has lingered in the dark for far too long,” one of the organizers told the crowd. “Yale has strayed far from the light. Part of this includes direct contributions to Israeli businesses, grants and investments that profit from the illegal occupation of Palestine.”
The organizers at the rally did not disclose their names in their speeches to the crowd.
At one point in the rally, after a speaker criticized the News’ published content related to the Israel-Hamas war, several protesters yelled “fuck the YDN.”
One student, who requested anonymity due to personal safety concerns and fear of doxxing, said that they saw people leaving from their philosophy class for the protest and decided to join them after learning about the walkout’s purpose.
“I was just so happy to see so many people out here today and so many different faces supporting Palestine and all the lives that have been lost,” they said.
Sterling Memorial Library and Cross Campus are located at 120 High St.
This article will be updated with the University’s response as soon as it is provided.
Correction, Oct. 26: The beginning of this article has been updated with accurate phrasing of protest chants.