Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022
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Students disrupted at Palestine education event, Palestine Solidarity Committee speaks out

Protestors+march+through+Downtown+Austin+to+show+support+for+Palestine+on+Oct.+15%2C+2023.+The+demonstration+was+organized+by+the+Palestine+Solidarity+Committee%2C+a+UT+student+organization+for+Palestinian+liberation+and+right+of+return.
Naina Srivastava
Protestors march through Downtown Austin to show support for Palestine on Oct. 15, 2023. The demonstration was organized by the Palestine Solidarity Committee, a UT student organization for Palestinian liberation and right of return.

Three men disrupted members of the Palestine Solidarity Committee at an educational event in Welch Hall on Oct. 12. The men repeatedly called PSC members and event attendees “terrorists.” One of the men said he would be in Israel the following week “killing Arabs.”

The men, one of whom claimed to be a soldier in the Israeli military, attempted to go inside the room in which the PSC event was being held. PSC leadership prevented them from entering by holding the door shut and asked the men to leave. 

“We encourage community members from the greater Austin community to come to our events, and with that we run the risk of having disruptors present,” a PSC media and outreach coordinator said. “In this case, these people started screaming at us as soon as they walked in.”


Two days after the incident, the PSC released a public statement on their Instagram demanding the University “take action against this blatant show of racism.” 

A UT spokesperson said the University of Texas Police Department investigated the incident and found  “no criminal offense” took place, but the University did not release a direct statement. The University sent out an email before the incident on Oct. 12 and another on Oct. 17 regarding the broader escalation of violence in Israel and Gaza, neither of which the PSC felt addressed their concerns, the PSC media and outreach coordinator said.

The PSC launched a mass email campaign on Oct. 19 urging the University to acknowledge and appropriately respond to the Oct.12 incident in the form of “adequate safety and security” for Muslim and Arab students, according to their email template.

“We want (the University) to apologize for rejecting their most vulnerable students who are already marginalized,” the PSC media and outreach coordinator said. “We want them to acknowledge the pain of the Palestinian people, Arabs and other Muslim communities around the world.”

 

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story said “Three men harassed members of the Palestine Solidarity Committee at an educational event in Welch Hall on Oct. 12.” This has been corrected to “Three men disrupted members of the Palestine Solidarity Committee at an educational event in Welch Hall on Oct. 12.” The Texan regrets this error.

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