Small group ‘speaks out 4 Palestine’ on campus edge

By Sarah Sternhagen, staff writer

A group of roughly 13 pro-Palestinian demonstrators gathered on the field outside the Towsontown Garage Wednesday afternoon.

They held a cardboard sign urging people to “speak out 4 Palestine.” They beat buckets like drums to call-and-response chants, donned keffiyehs and used a megaphone to describe conditions in Gaza

A Towson University Police car was parked opposite the protestors on University Avenue.

Three participants confirmed they were students from Goucher College, a private liberal arts college less than two miles from Towson. They declined to comment further.

The demonstration lasted a little over an hour. 

A sparse crowd watched the demonstration from across the street. Some spectators were members of Hillel, an on-campus Jewish group, including first year student Maytal Fleisher.

Fleisher told The Towerlight she had had conversations with supporters of Palestinians about the current crisis in Gaza. She said those that wanted safety for Palestinian civilians were different from those supporting the militant group Hamas, which was responsible for the Oct. 7 attack on Israel. 

“Everyone’s like, ‘[do a] counterprotest,’” Fleisher said. “I don’t think that’s going to help, I think you have to educate people.” 

She said she heard the protestors use the phrase “from the river to the sea.” 

For decades, the phrase referred to Palestinian freedom in their historic state between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea. 

But in recent years, with groups such as Hamas adopting the phrase, some associate it with the removal or extermination of the Jewish population in that region. 

Fleisher considered the phrase antisemitic, and said she can’t educate the people using it. 

Another member of Hillel, first year Amelia Anton, echoed these sentiments. 

“Before you speak, I feel like you need to do research, and not just on one side but both sides. Because what they’re saying can be seen as antisemitic,” Anton said.

Participants are not required to obtain permits from the university for demonstrations on that field, according to Towson’s time, place and manner policy.Before disbanding, the demonstrators invited spectators to join them Thursday at Goucher’s encampment, which has been going since April 29, its student newspaper The Quindecim reported.


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