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‘Not just a number’: Protesters recognize Palestinians killed in war

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Amid ongoing conflict in Palestine, students and community members protest justice for the lives lost as a result of the Israel-Hamas war and the Gaza bombings.


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NOVEMBER 17, 2023

Several hundred campus students and community members marched around campus Wednesday afternoon in honor of Palestinians killed in the Israel-Hamas war and ongoing bombing of Gaza.

The group convened at 12:30 p.m. at the base of Sather Tower, from which a banner bearing the Palestinian flag and the phrases “ceasefire now” and “free Gaza” was hung.

Demonstrators walked across Memorial Glade to California Hall, then to Sproul Plaza, carrying another banner with the names of Palestinians killed as of a week ago. During the march, a speaker read from a list of names and stories about those killed; attendees chanted “not just a number” after each name.

The demonstration was organized by UC Berkeley Graduate Students for Justice in Palestine, Bears for Palestine, Law Students for Justice in Palestine at Berkeley Law and Palestinian Public Health. It follows previous protests calling for the university to divest from companies that provide financial and military support to Israel.

In front of California Hall, speakers demanded that Chancellor Carol Christ and university administration take more concrete action in recognition of Palestine. Speakers also urged campus to divest from investment companies Blackrock and Blackstone for their ties to Israel.

At each stop in the march, speakers also told stories about individuals killed in Palestine and led chants calling for an end to the conflict.

One speaker noted that another protest for Palestine shut down the Bay Bridge for several hours this morning. According to a traffic advisory from the California Department of Transportation, or Caltrans, protesters blocked westbound traffic on the bridge at about 7:45 a.m. The upper deck was closed for about four hours, the advisory noted; protesters and associated vehicles were removed by Caltrans and law enforcement.

Contact Ria Raniwala and Chanyoung Chung at [email protected].