The student news source of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

The Racquet Press

The student news source of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

The Racquet Press

The student news source of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

The Racquet Press

UWL students organize Pro-Palestine rally

Jackson Skarp
Students gathered in front of Hoeschler Tower

On Friday, May 3, UWL students organized a Pro-Palestine rally on the lawn in front of Wittich Hall to make signs and organize themselves before rallying at the clock tower and marching around campus. 

The rally, organized by a group of students affiliated with the Instagram account @laxstudentsforpalestine, officially began at 2:00 p.m., despite students and organizers gathering as early as 1:30 to create signs and get organized. 

Signs created by students had messages such as “Don’t stay silent,” “Ceasefire now!” and “Stop the bombing.” In compliance with protest guidelines provided by UWL, all signs held by those attending the rally were made of cardboard or paper and had no sticks attached to them. 

The organizers had a set of printed guidelines for everyone involved in the protest to comply with, some of which were, “Weapons of any kind are not permitted,” “Anti-Semitism of any type is strictly prohibited” and “Blocking of any walkways, entrances and academic buildings is prohibited.” The complete list can be found at the bottom of this article. 

One of the protest’s organizers, Cameron Seebruch (He/Him), a second-year student at UWL majoring in broadfield social studies education, said to the crowd, “We are here today to advocate for humanitarian aid for Gaza,” clarifying the purpose of the protest and rally.

The Racquet Press was able to speak with Seebruch before the rally on whether or not the difficulties of other college protests, such as the student arrests made on UW-Madison’s campus, impacted their planning, Seebruch said, “It is a peaceful protest. There shouldn’t be anything crazy, I’m not worried about anything, we are just here for the cause.” 

Emily Anderson (She/Her), a first-year student at UWL double majoring in political science and public administration, and the head organizer of the rally, said, “I think there’s definitely different ways you can go about protesting, but everyone has the right to protest and the right to freedom of speech and if there’s something happening that you do not approve of, or if there’s something you want to protest, you absolutely have that right.” 

Anderson added, “We are literally just college students halfway across the world, but we know that protesting works and has worked before, and that’s all we can do right now.” 

Once the rally officially began, the protesters gathered around the clock tower and began chanting while holding up their signs. Some of the chants exclaimed by the protesters included, “No justice, no peace,” “We will not stop, we will not rest,” “Free free, free free Palestine” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” 

Following their march throughout campus, protesters spread across the grounds in front of Wittich Hall and engaged in one hour of silence and solidarity for the civilians who lost their lives in Palestine as well as with those who have been detained for protesting across the country. 

The group marched through campus once more before dispersing, with no future events currently planned, though organizers anticipate more to follow.

To ask any questions and stay up to date on their events, follow them on Instagram @laxstudentsforpalestine. The Racquet Press will also cover any future events held by this organization. 

As of 8:30 p.m. on May 5, the UWL student body has heard nothing from campus administration. 

Official Guidelines: 

  • Weapons of any kind are not permitted.
  • Anti-Semitism of any type is strictly prohibited.
  • Blocking of any walkways, entrances, and academic buildings is prohibited.
  • Following and/or harassment of the general public is prohibited.
  • No person may engage in violent, abusive, indecent, profane, boisterous, unreasonably loud or otherwise disorderly conduct under any circumstances.
  • No discretion of the land, no littering, please pick up your trash.
  • Comply with all pre-established university guidelines (no drug/alcohol/tobacco use.)
  • Respect boundaries of everyone within the space.
  • Alcohol and Drug consumption will not be tolerated.
  • Understand that individual actions may be perceived as group actions. Be aware of all of your statements, actions, and behaviors as they may be reflective of the rally as a whole.
  • Do not engage with counter-protesters, even if they may try to engage with you.
  • Do not speak/engage with media unless you are an organizer or have been given permission by the organizers to do so.
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About the Contributor
Jackson Skarp
Jackson Skarp, Student Government Reporter
  • Year at UWL: Sophomore
  • PGPs: He/Him/His
  • Hometown: Cottage Grove, MN
  • Major: Communication Studies
  • Minor: Legal Studies and Philosophy
  • Other Campus Involvement: Pre-Law Society Member
  • Future Plans after Graduation: I plan on attending law school after graduation
  • Favorite activity in La Crosse: Finding new coffee shops to study at.
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