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Students Side with Palestine

There are more coffee shops than just Starbucks. So why continue to be complicit in a genocide that has killed over 35,072 Palestinian children and people? Being complicit isn’t only continuing to support organizations and companies that fund Israel. It can also be the lack of education and concern for the ongoing humanitarian crises that plague our world. When in discussion about human rights and advocacy, AUC  (Atlanta University Center) students stand firm in solidarity with the people of Gaza.

On April 25th, 2024, a protest for an immediate ceasefire in Palestine and Cop City in Atlanta, was held at Emory University. According to the Atlanta University Center Students for Justice in Palestine, student organizers, Malik Jihad Poole (Morehouse 25’), Anwar Karim (Morehouse 26’), Amel Hatim Mohdali (Spelman 27’), and Mozn Shora (Spelman 24’) were all in attendance, among many other AUC and Emory students. What was something that started peacefully, ended in police brutality against students, the majority of them attending HBCUs.

I sat down with Mohdali, a freshman International studies major and public health minor attending Spelman College. As a member of a social justice program – The Blue Record and The student intercommunal coordinating committee, Mohdali shared her perspective on the outcome of the Emory protest. She provided background and insight into the institution’s involvement in Israel and Cop City. When asked why this cause is important to her, she answered, “As a Sudanese person, I’ve seen violence against women. The brutalization of people at the hands of corruption and corrupt government. Now that I’m in America, I see these same tactics that were used in Sudan, by the American government against Black and brown people.”

As far as the protest, Modhali claimed it was “really peaceful”. They’d begun setting up at about 7:30 am to avoid trouble with administration, and Emory police came out around 8:00 am, but protestors ignored them with chants like “Cops off the lawn” and “You’re on camera”. Which led to a press conference at 9:30 am, where shortly after, the Atlanta Police Department came.  Modhali says nobody realized the APD’s presence until passing out breakfast to the students when they cornered students into one space.

Modhali and her friends came prepared with prior knowledge of APD’s “snatch and grab” tactic, where they try to get people to disperse and capture groups of 1-3. This allowed them to implement a strategy where they “interlocked hands and stood together”. She believes Emory set the precedent for brutalization, causing a chain reaction across the country. As we’ve seen at Columbia University, where the NYPD was called on students, and over 90 were incarcerated.

Modhali shared that they’d attempted to arrest her, but thankfully they didn’t succeed. Throwing tear gas and pepper balls at her feet. Modhali described it as a tug of war between her friends and the police, Modhali being the rope. Modhali explains that the issue is with the anti-protest policies implemented by Spelman College. Which leads students to protest and be brutalized on other campuses.

Modhali encourages everyone to stay informed on what’s happening both inside and outside our country. Suggesting that people follow student-led pages like aucsjp and auc_ssic. So the next time you consider picking up a cup with the green mermaid logo, consider alternatives that aren’t complicit in genocide.

 

By Journey Powell, Freshman, Spelman College

Instagram: journeyaliah

 

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Written by Journey

Hiii, I’m Journey. I love to model and write poetry. My favorite movie series is Harry Potter.

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