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CSUSM ethnic studies director and San Diego Poet Laureate Jason Magabo Perez speaks at a pro-Palestine rally at Cal State San Marcos on Thursday. Photo by Laura Place
CSUSM ethnic studies director and San Diego Poet Laureate Jason Magabo Perez speaks at a pro-Palestine rally at Cal State San Marcos on Thursday. Photo by Laura Place
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CSUSM, UCSD students continue calls for Israel divestment

SAN MARCOS — Over 100 students at Cal State San Marcos rallied at Kellogg Plaza on Thursday to call on the CSU system to divest from Israel, as the calls for an end to genocide in Palestine continue at university campuses across the country. 

The demonstration on Thursday was among the latest in the San Diego region, which was roiled by the arrest of 65 students, staff and other protestors at UC San Diego this week after law enforcement dismantled a solidarity encampment at the La Jolla campus on Monday. 

At Cal State San Marcos, UCSD and several other universities, many students and faculty are demanding that schools cut all ties with Israel, including educational partnerships with universities in Israel and investments in companies profiting from the government’s ongoing assault in Gaza that has killed over 34,000 people. 

San Marcos students said Thursday that leaders of the CSU — the nation’s largest public university system — have not been transparent about where the schools’ investments are allocated. 

“We cannot stand idly by as our tax dollars, our tuition, continue to fund the destruction of an entire people,” one student said Thursday. 

Students at Cal State San Marcos rally on Thursday for an end to genocide in Gaza and for the the CSU system to divest from Israel. Photo by Laura Place
Students at Cal State San Marcos rally on Thursday for an end to genocide in Gaza and for the CSU system to divest from Israel. Photo by Laura Place
A student waves the Palestinian flag at a rally at Cal State San Marcos on Thursday, as campus protests calling for universities to divest from Israel increase around the country. Photo by Laura Place
A student waves the Palestinian flag at a rally at Cal State San Marcos on Thursday, as campus protests calling for universities to divest from Israel increase around the country. Photo by Laura Place

CSUSM students spoke out in support of those at other universities nationwide who have faced backlash from administrators and law enforcement for protesting. Zuzu, a student at CSUSM, applauded those at UCSD who faced arrests and violent pushback from police earlier this week. 

“They are courageous students,” Zuzu said. “They shouldn’t have been arrested, no one should have. They shouldn’t have been maced, no religious leader should have been maced. They were chanting, they weren’t doing anything.”

On Friday, a crowd of over 100 UCSD faculty and students marched to the home of university Chancellor Pradeep Khosla to demand that leaders speak out about the deaths in Palestine and agree to divest from Israel. They also rebuked Khosla for ordering law enforcement and demanded amnesty for all arrested students and faculty. 

Two days prior, well over 1,000 students held a rally in support of students. Khosla has also been called on to resign by several campus groups over the past few days.

“We saw members of Chancellor Khosla’s administration hide behind the weaponry of the police as they brutalized our students at the educational institution that their tuition and tax dollars are maintaining,” said associate professor Simeon Man. “Our faculty stand squarely and unconditionally in solidarity with our students.”

Students and faculty rallied in front of UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla’s home on Friday, calling on administrators to divest from Israel and protesting the use of police force to dismantle a protestor encampment and arrest dozens of people earlier this week. Photo by Laura Place
Students and faculty rallied in front of UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla’s home on Friday, calling on administrators to divest from Israel and protesting the use of police force to dismantle a protestor encampment and arrest dozens of people earlier this week. Photo by Laura Place

Both the CSU and UC systems have made it clear that they do not intend to change their investment policies. They state that a boycott of companies related to Israel would threaten academic freedom and the free exchange of ideas and views on campuses. 

“The California State University does not intend to alter existing investment policies related to Israel or the Israel-Hamas conflict,” the CSU said in late April. “Because of state law and CSU’s investment policies restrictions, the CSU does not invest in direct stocks or equities in any companies. The system does invest in mutual funds, bonds, and other instruments.” 

Despite this, some faculty are encouraging students to continue their fight. Jason Magabo Perez, CSUSM ethnic studies director, professor and San Diego Poet Laureate, thanked students for their advocacy. 

“There are going to be voices, your own professors, that are going to be telling you and that have been telling you, that you don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said. “I would not be here as faculty, I would not be here committed to the struggles that ethnic studies is committed to, without the students.” 

Another CSUSM student shared about her friend, who is currently living in Rafah with three children under the age of 10, whose husband was killed in a bombing. She played a voice message from her friends’ children, thanking her and other students for standing up for them. 

“Know that even though we’re a small school, we reached Gaza,” she said. “Remember, that this is who you’re fighting for.” 

Students at Cal State San Marcos call on the CSU system to disclose its investments and divest from Israel during a rally on Thursday. Photo by Laura Place
Students at Cal State San Marcos call on the CSU system to disclose its investments and divest from Israel during a rally on Thursday. Photo by Laura Place
UC San Diego faculty rally in support of Palestine and student protestors on Friday. Photo by Laura Place
UC San Diego faculty rally in support of Palestine and student protestors on Friday. Photo by Laura Place

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