Ahmad Hasan and Danielle Bäck – Why we walked out
From the Electronic Intifada:
Ahmad Hasan and Danielle Bäck
Students across the US are protesting a public relations campaign that brings soldiers from the Israeli army to speak on campuses. These tours are an attempt to justify recent war crimes committed by the army and are coordinated by various organizations, the most well-known being the Zionist organization StandWithUs.
Our protests have drawn attention to the massive Israeli human rights abuses in the occupied Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The protests started on 20 October 2010, when two Israeli army soldiers visited the University of Michigan campus. Students, staff and community members collectively engaged in a silent walk-out in memory of and in solidarity with the Palestinian children who were silenced by the Israeli military during Israel’s three-week bombardment of the Gaza Strip in winter 2008-09.
As students at the University of Michigan, we simply could not let these soldiers attempt to justify atrocities on our college campus. We decided that a silent protest would be a creative way to give voice to the victims of these human rights abuses, but we had no idea that our protest would spark such momentum, strengthening the growing sense of collaboration and unity across the nation and inspiring international solidarity across college campuses. Specifically, it was the protest footage that allowed our actions to resonate with many other universities and communities across the world (video available on YouTube).