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The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

Student news without fear or favor

Man pretends to shoot at pro-Palestine protesters on campus in racially motivated incident

Dr. Luke Wood and Students for Justice in Palestine give their statements
Students+protesting+in+solidarity+with+Palestine+during+a+walkout+in+the+library+quad+Oct.+12%2C+2023.+Students+held+up+flags+and+signs+that+read+phrases+such+as+%E2%80%9CFree+Palestine%E2%80%9D+and+%E2%80%9CRight+to+Exist%2C+Resist+Return%E2%80%9D+while+movement+leaders+shared+their+stories.
Jenn Galinato
Students protesting in solidarity with Palestine during a walkout in the library quad Oct. 12, 2023. Students held up flags and signs that read phrases such as “Free Palestine” and “Right to Exist, Resist Return” while movement leaders shared their stories.

An unidentified male was making threatening gestures at pro-Palestine protesters as they walked between the Science Complex and Hornet Bookstore on Tuesday, according to the school’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine.

An SJP representative said the man approached marching students while screaming racial remarks such as “Kill all the kids in Gaza.” In a video released by SJP, the man ran to his vehicle, where he proceeded to imitate pulling out a firearm before getting in the passenger’s seat.

Students for Justice in Palestine

 

“Many students were shocked and froze because it genuinely looked like he was getting a gun,” the SJP representative said. “It all happened so quick that everyone seemingly prepared for it to be a real weapon and had to settle down.”

The representative said that since they began protesting, they’ve experienced an uptick in racism, Islamophobia and “anti-pro Palestine hate,” not just on campus, but nationally.

“The three Arab youths wearing the keffiyeh in Vermont who got shot aren’t just a headline,” the representative said. “They’re the reality of our fears coming to life through racists who have enough hate to act on it.”

Sac State President Luke Wood released a statement via social media on Tuesday evening after the incident:



Both Wood and the SJP said the incident is currently under investigation by the Sacramento State Police Department.

The department could not be reached for comment at the time of publication.

Associated Students, Inc. Executive Vice President Veronica Boulos said that ASI stands for students’ right to peacefully protest without fearing for their safety, and Sac State’s campus should be a safe space for students to express themselves.

“What this person did is absolutely disturbing and it’s clear that we must do a better job to protect our students,” Boulos said. “It’s unfortunate and unacceptable to know that any students on our campus are being threatened and intimidated like this.”

SJP President Farah Al-Masri said she and her fellow protesters felt alienated by the university’s lack of action during their advocacy, despite the hate crimes they’ve experienced. She said she felt the campus would quickly release statements for other events on campus but took too long to speak up for protesting students.

“It just makes me think, what if there was a gun?” Al-Masri said. “Why would it have taken a horrific event to speak up and not any of the prior protesting and advocacy?”

Al-Masri said the important part is that nobody was hurt, and that the campus works toward being more understanding and inclusive.

“It really goes to show the dedication of our cause,” Farah said. “Despite knowing it’s dangerous targeting, we still stand up, because we are all committed as people of conscience against human rights violations.”

The SJP representative said the incident would not stop them from protesting on campus.

“The people united will never be defeated and the masses will continue to stand up against injustice,” the SJP representative said. “We will not stop fighting until our campus joins our call for a ceasefire.”

Additional reporting by Erick Mendoza

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Analah Wallace, News Editor
(they/them) Analah is in their second semester at The State Hornet and their first semester as the news editor. Their passion lies in news reporting and they hope to use their time on the publication to bring back an appreciation for general news writing. Their overall goal is to make the public trust in journalists again, and they hope to one day be a journalist in a big city.
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