Senior Dominic LaCalamita, Senior Lydia Hellevik, Senior Shania Johnson, Junior Natalie Martinez, Senior Terrence Freeman and Sophomore Gustavo Zuñga head back to campus after the rally. Photo by Adam Fleischer.
The Appleton chapter of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) hosted a rally to bring attention to the ongoing Palestinian liberation struggle on Wednesday, April 6 at 5:30 p.m. at Houdini Plaza in downtown Appleton. SDS also dropped a banner that read “Free Palestine” on the bridge between Warch Campus Center and Memorial Hall in solidarity with Palestine at 6pm on Monday, April 11. The banner has since been taken down.
SDS released a statement on their Instagram page, @appleton_sds.
“We believe that for justice to be achieved Palestinian territory should be liberated and it should gain sovereignty,” senior Terrence Freeman, Chair and co-founder of The Appleton SDS said. “The brutality that [the] Israeli state has imposed on [the] Palestinian people is a human rights violation.”
With the United States’ historic support to Israel, Freeman said that the United States is an imperialist power that supports other imperialist states.
Freeman brought up the fact that it’s unsurprising to see Israel’s continued support from America as some American police officers even got training from the Israeli government.
Appleton SDS member and first-year Audari Tamayo also emphasized the connection between the occupation of Palestine and the Native American genocides.
“The U.S. empire was the first country to recognize Israel as a nation,” Tamayo said. Tamayo went on to describe how American heads of state from Harry Truman, the statesman to originally recognize Israel, to Joe Biden, the current president, have arguably supported Israel due to various geopolitical American interests in the Middle East as opposed to for purely moral reasons.
Appleton SDS member and junior Taeen Jidaan said that he feels more educated about social justice and political situations such as capitalism, apartheid, and police brutality after joining Appleton SDS.
“Imagine educating hundreds of people on campus about SDS and their mission statement,” Jidaan said. “Even though we live in a Lawrence bubble, that bubble is going to pop once we graduate, so it is important to educate ourselves on this.”