Southwestern University United Against Genocide: Free Palestine Rally
On February 8, 2024, Southwestern students and faculty held a walk-out outside the McCombs Campus Center in a rally advocating for Palestinian liberation. The rally, organized by the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Center, was a chance for students and faculty to show support for Palestine through speeches and poetry.
It began with chants to engage the crowd before speakers took to the microphone.
The first to speak was Senior Mercedes Chervony, one of the event organizers. She gave a speech that asserted that American tax dollars are funding a genocide of Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip perpetrated by Israel. She implored the audience, “I am not asking you to care about a genocide in a faraway land. I am asking you to take action!”
Chervonythen described other ongoing atrocities that Palestinians have suffered from before the retaliatory strikes of October last year, emphasizing that these were only the most recent. To close, she reminded the audience, “The veil has been lifted, we can no longer sleepwalk through the horrors around us.”
Last to speak was Dr. Meagan Solomon, Assistant Professor of Feminist Studies, who reinforced many of the previous points about Palestinian liberation and spoke against the rhetoric that “being pro-Palestine is inherently anti-Semitic.” She instead argued that “our freedoms are bound up with one another.”
Dr. Solomon ended her speech with two poems by Palestinian-American poet and reporter Noor Hindi. After Dr. Solomon’s words, many students took to the podium to share poems, personal anecdotes, and short stories focused on Palestinian liberation. Overall, the rally not only showed others how to take action, but how students are already taking action for the cause of a free Palestine through boycotting and support.