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

Hundreds gather at Capitol for second statewide pro-Palestine protest this year in commemoration of Nakba Day

Lorianne Willett
Pro-Palestine protesters gather outside of the Capitol on Sunday.

Hundreds of protesters gathered and marched in front of the Capitol and downtown Austin Sunday afternoon, following the Texas Department of Public Safety closing the official grounds two days earlier. 

Arranged by a coalition of organizations, the second statewide pro-Palestine protest this year was held in honor of The Nakba, referencing the mass displacement of Palestinians following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, according to the United Nations

“Our goal here is to ensure that people here are able to practice their right to free speech, unharmed and on and without threats,” said Niveen Adbelwahed, a media liaison for the Palestinian Youth Movement, one of the organizers of the protest.

Adbelwahed said the Capitol closure led the organization to cancel its planned bus system, which would have chartered buses to bring protestors from cities such as Dallas and Houston. However, many protestors organized carpooling systems or even chartered buses themselves, she said. 

“(The closure) definitely skewed our numbers,” Abdelwahed said. “(But) the people are still coming out. This tactic of repression isn’t something that’s going to work.”

One organization present, Kitchen Table Puppets + Press, had members drive from Houston the morning of, carrying two Palestine Sunbird Puppets, the national bird of Palestine. Kitchen Table director, Killjoy, said the puppets were built by community members and donned the names of deceased Palestinians on its feathers. 

“We put a call out (to) people and we build puppets together,” said the director of the BIPOC insurgent print shop. “That includes sewing, that includes cutting feathers, putting the feathers onto the film bodies, making the head out of cardboard, paper mache on the head, painting the head, but it’s very much a communal activity. It takes a lot of people to come and make these bird puppets.” 

While at the Capitol grounds, a speaker with the Palestinian Solidarity Committee at UT, condemned the violence past demonstrations on campuses around the country were met with. 

“The stark parallels and the extensive show of force that we are witnessing here in this country and in Palestine are no coincidence,” Rawan Channaa, a PSC student member, said in her speech. “The systems of oppression are deeply rooted in one another.”

Officers made over 150 arrests on the UT campus following two separate Pro-Palestianian demonstrations, resulting in calls for the resignation of UT President, Jay Hartzell.

The protesters began marching South on Congress Avenue around 2:20 p.m., with Austin Police and DPS officers present, monitoring the demonstration. The crowd took up a city block. 

One arrest has been confirmed. 

This story is breaking and will continue to be updated.

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About the Contributors
Kylee Howard, Associate News Editor
Kylee is a second-year journalism major from Waco, TX. She is currently an Associate News Editor but formerly served as a News Desk Editor.
Lorianne Willett, Photo Editor
Lorianne is a Journalism and Global Sustainability junior from San Antonio, Texas. Currently, she is the Photo Editor. In her free time, she enjoys reading and playing tennis.