KIRO NEWSRADIO

Western Washington students walk out against Israel-Hamas war

Apr 23, 2024, 2:42 PM | Updated: 2:44 pm

Photo: West Seattle High School students held a pro-Palestinian protest....

West Seattle High School students held a pro-Palestinian protest. (Photo: James Lynch, KIRO Newsradio)

(Photo: James Lynch, KIRO Newsradio)

The time was 10:50 a.m. That’s when students at West Seattle High School walked out of school. Around 100 pro-Palestinian students demonstrated against the Israel-Hamas war.

Similar student-organized demonstrations were held all over Western Washington and around the country at high schools, colleges and universities.

The students demanded an end to aid for Israel. They held signs saying “Genocide is never justified.”

Photo: West Seattle High School students held a pro-Palestinian rally.

West Seattle High School students held a pro-Palestinian rally. (Photo: James Lynch, KIRO Newsradio)

After a short rally at their school, the students marched about a mile to the West Seattle Junction, West Seattle’s downtown.

Along the way, students stopped to protest outside a McDonald’s and a Starbucks. They called the two international companies complicit in genocide in Gaza.

“You’re supporting genocide, McDonalds you can’t hide,” the group shouted.

Then at Starbucks, “Free, free, free Palestine.”

Along the march, the students were joined by people walking on the street, who felt the same way they did.

“I just full-heartedly support it. It makes me so proud of my city. It makes me so proud of these kids and I love to see it,” Katherine Kirk told KIRO Newsradio.

KIRO Newsradio also spoke with a neighbor who supports awareness of the younger generation.

“I think it’s great. I think young people need to get involved. They need to start voting. They need to start getting more involved with politics,” neighbor Robin Kaspar said.

The students also called for an end to what they call the suppression of pro-Palestinian students. They want schools to take action to prevent anti-Palestinian, anti-Arab and Islamophobic sentiments.

Earlier this week, dozens of protesters were arrested at New York University and Yale, the gates to Harvard Yard were closed and Columbia canceled in-person classes to try to diffuse tensions over the war, reported The Associated Press (AP) on Tuesday.

“It’s a really outrageous crackdown by the university to allow the police to arrest students on our own campus,” New York University law student Byul Yoon told The AP. “Antisemitism is never OK. That’s absolutely not what we stand for and that’s why there are so many Jewish comrades that are here with us today.”

The AP stated the protests have “pitted students against one another.” Pro-Palestinian students want their universities to condemn Israel’s assault, while Jewish students feel their criticism is turning antisemitic and feel unsafe.

The West Seattle rally and march were peaceful and non-disruptive. Following the protest, most of the students returned to class.

Similar demonstrations were held at other local high schools and in Capitol Hill’s Cal Anderson Park.

According to the Guardian, the death toll in Gaza is over 34,000 and nearly 77,000 people have been wounded.

Contributing: Julia Dallas, MyNorthwest

You can read more of James Lynch’s stories here. Follow James on X, formerly known as Twitter, or email him here.

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Western Washington students walk out against Israel-Hamas war