The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Mac students join protests in support of Palestine

Photo by Cal Martinez ’26.

As death tolls continue to rise since Israel declared war on Hamas on Oct. 7, with more than eight thousand Palestinian and more than one thousand Israeli civilians killed, Macalester students have raised their voices, demanding a ceasefire in Gaza.

From the Minnesota State Capitol to the corner of Summit and Snelling Avenue, protestors have called for their elected representatives to divest from Israel and provide humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Numerous representatives, including Minnesotan Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (MN-05), have signed the “Ceasefire Now Resolution”, calling for the Biden administration to immediately facilitate de-escalation and send humanitarian aid to Gaza.

 On Oct. 15, various individuals from Jewish-centered anti-Zionist organizations in the Twin Cities marched to deliver a letter with more than 300 signatures to Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) calling for Klobuchar to support a ceasefire. The group was the second in 16 years to have a meeting with Klobuchar’s staff, with an estimated 15 protesters entering the office. 

Among those protestors was a Macalester student and member of IfNotNow Macalester, who wishes to remain anonymous. The student emphasized that individuals wishing to advocate for Palestinian liberation don’t necessarily need to participate in direct actions to make meaningful contributions.

“Not everybody’s willing to risk arrest, and that’s okay, and it doesn’t make you a bad person,” the student said. “I will say, there are easy things that you can do. You can call your rep, you can call Amy Klobuchar or you can call Tina Smith. … The more people [representatives] hear from, the easier it’s going to be for them to make that decision. They will be feeling the pressure, and they will know that this is what their constituents want.”

On Wednesday, Oct. 17, Macalester students gathered with others at the state capitol to protest the violence in Palestine and call for Governor Tim Walz, who has voiced strong support for Israel, to call for ceasefire and divest from Israel. This protest, led by the Anti-War Committee, American Muslims for Palestine, and the Students for Justice in Palestine, included chanting, speakers and a continued a call to action for future events. A large focus of these protests was how Minnesota was contributing to the violence between Israel and Palestine. 

“The board of investment has $55 million invested in Lockheed Martin, which builds the jets that are currently massacring the people of Palestine,” Minnesota Anti-War Committee representative Andrew Josefchak spoke at the protest. “[They] are supporting another meeting to help Lockheed Martin open up a facility right here in St. Paul.”

Another meeting Macalester students attended was hosted by Women Against Military Madness (WAMM) on Summit and Snelling Avenue and took place on Friday, Oct. 19. This protest drew the largest crowd of protesters since WAMM began holding rallies on Summit and Snelling Avenue in 1991. The protest focused on raising support for the ending of violence and hatred continuing in the region.

“My position is we have to be as vigilant and unrelenting to our support for Palestine as much as possible,” explained Director of WAMM Robyn Harbison. “Because if we don’t, an entire group of people won’t exist anymore, essentially. How can we let that happen and act like it’s nothing?”

Maia Tazewell ’27, who attended the “Stand With Palestine” protest at the state capitol and WAMM’s protest, found that the protest with WAMM was particularly empowering. 

“I feel like everybody that drove by … no matter whether or not they agree with us, was being forced to think about what was going on, for at least a moment in time,” Tazewell said. “I feel like people here in [the U.S.] have so much privilege to just shut things off and not look at them and ignore them, so it was great to be a part of making people look at it and think about it.”

Harbison feels that people are not just noticing the increased number of protesters, but also getting involved in organizing and volunteering in greater numbers. They shared that they’ve recently received more requests from college students and other young people to volunteer for WAMM or attend other demonstrations WAMM holds.

“I think it’s been a really significant time to do this kind of work because so many young people are now seeing how Israel really operates as an apartheid state,” Harbison said. “[Israel] is a nation that has been fully dedicated to removing Gaza off the map for decades now, and is [now] more in the forefront.”

“It’s really easy for us, as students, to stay in our college bubble and just shut everything out. But it’s really important that we resist that, and that we are loud, and that we amplify the voices of Palestinians and other marginalized people and that we fight for peace,” Tazewell said. “We [must] make it clear to our representatives that as the next generation of adults, we’re not going to allow [this] to happen — we don’t condone that kind of violence or the amount of money that’s going towards mass genocide.”

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About the Contributor
Cal Martinez
Cal Martinez, News Editor
Cal Martinez '26 (they/them) is one of the news editors and an English major from metro Detroit, Michigan. Their best friend in high school, who happened to be their English teacher, introduced them to journalism and annotating poetry with fancy highlighters, and their sleep schedule has never been the same since.

Comments (4)

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  • D

    David HuntNov 6, 2023 at 10:38 am

    A real pity these simpletons can’t find out good and hard what the Islamic doctrine of “captive of the Right Hand” really means.

  • J

    JakeNov 5, 2023 at 9:45 pm

    This is wonderful to see! Ceasefire now!

  • D

    Diva JackieNov 3, 2023 at 5:07 pm

    You have no idea of what true genocide is. Stop using words inaccurately and imprecisely. Yes, Gazans are being killed as Israel tries to eliminate Hamas, which, by the way, uses civilians as, essentially, human shields. The Palestinians would be so much better off with leaders who are willing to really negotiate in good faith for a Palestinian state that does not include an obliterated Israel.

  • R

    RPNov 3, 2023 at 1:35 pm

    Dear young journalists at Macalester,

    – Do you condemn the atrocious acts of Hamas against both civilian Israelis and their own people?
    – Do you condemn Hamas for putting their own people in danger by firing rockets from apartment buildings and rockets? and call upon them to stop?
    – Do you condemn Hamas for its heinous acts against LGBTQ people who live in Gaza?
    – Do you condemn Hamas for its charter which calls for the annihilation of all Jews on the planet?
    – Do you condemn Hamas for clearly having enough fuel to launch rockets, but not enough to share with Gazan hospitals?
    – Do you call for a ceasefire on the part of Hamas, or only Israel?
    – What is your definition of “apartheid”? Are you aware that in Israel, Arabs can work anywhere and hold public office? That is not the definition of “apartheid.”
    – When you use the term “genocide”, do you mean like what Hamas did in Southern Israel by indiscriminately killing both Jews and non-Jews alike? (Oh and they stabbed and burned babies, raped women, and worse)
    – Do you support the dismantlement of Hamas so that there can truly be peace in the region?
    – Do you condemn Egypt for taking so long to open the Rafah border with Gaza?
    – Do you expect Israel not to do anything to protect its borders and multicultural citizens from future slaughters like what happened on 10/7/23?
    – As young journalists, are you learning to be objective and share all perspectives and facts?
    – Can you use your expensive education to avail yourself of facts, history, and critical thinking to look at this issue from many points of view?