By Imani C. Davis
San Francisco high school students called for a nationwide walkout on Wednesday October 18, 2023, resulting in 1,700 San Francisco Bay Area students from more than 15 schools walking out of their classrooms at 10:30 a.m., calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, Palestine.
The call to walkout was put out by individuals from Lowell and Galileo High Schools in San Francisco. Upon the students’ request, the Arab Resource & Organizing Center (AROC) aided in organizing the walkout.
Students from high schools in San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley and Pacifica left their classrooms to stand against the unprecedented bombardment of Gaza. City College of San Francisco was the only college to walk out. City College Officer Palacios said the protest was “peaceful and in the assigned area of Ram Plaza.”
The students’ three demands were: 1) an immediate ceasefire on the Gaza Strip, 2) for educators to teach about “the occupation and root causes of the current war in Gaza,” and 3) to defend and protect Palestinian, Arab, Muslim and allied students from the increased Islamophobic, racist and xenophobic rhetoric and attacks.
The walkout kicks off the “student week of action,” a call to action by several organizations asking students to demand an “end to university complicity in Israel’s genocide on Gaza and an end to U.S. military aid to Israel.” The week of action is October 18-25, and an action toolkit is available for students interested in organizing actions in the bio of the National Students for Justice in Palestine’s Instagram page.
The Arab Resource & Organizing Center has also called for a peaceful protest Thursday October 19, 2023 at 5 p.m. at the San Francisco Federal Building to continue to demand an end to U.S. military aid for Israel.