Utah State University Gaza protest aims to build awareness

May 1, 2024, 5:16 PM | Updated: 6:07 pm

LOGAN — A group of approximately 70 people gathered on the Utah State University lawn just outside Old Main Wednesday to protest for a ceasefire in Gaza. Organizers, like USU student Cristina Chirvasa, said they wanted to draw attention during the school’s commencement ceremonies but also want to keep the event peaceful.

“Our main goal today is to bring more people in to bring light to this issue that hasn’t really gotten as much publicity here locally in Logan,” Chirvasa said. “We’re trying to keep it pretty chill so that people can engage with it, even if they might not know as much about it and might not be pro-Palestine.”

A number of speakers addressed the group. They also read names among the tens of thousands of lives lost in the ongoing conflict. The event drew a handful of Jewish-Americans who live in Logan who wanted to see what was going on, and voice some of their concerns, though interactions between the groups were overall peaceful and quiet.

“We resist the charge the, allegations against us,” Steve, who has dual American, Israeli citizenship said. “We want people to see that we’re human beings.”

“This goes back to education,” his wife, Ona added. “People who chant ‘from the river to the sea’ don’t understand that that means the genocide of Israel because they don’t understand that because Jews have no other place to go; Israelis don’t have any other place to go.”

A University spokesperson reiterated to KSL that the group has been working closely with them to keep the demonstration within campus guidelines. And that they anticipate that the event will remain peaceful.

A few campus police officers were seen walking by the event from time to time. Protest organizers were asking participants to leave for the day by 6 p.m. They plan to start up again, running from noon to 6 p.m on both Thursday and Friday.

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Utah State University Gaza protest aims to build awareness