SJP-organized march to Presidential House met with FIU Police blockage

Police guarding the walkway from protesters so no one could approach the Presidential Building. | Danette Heredia, PantherNOW

Danette Heredia | Staff Writer

Students for Justice in Palestine at FIU organized their final march of the semester to the front of the Presidential House but were met with police shortly after they arrived.

In honor of Palestinian Prisoner Day, SJP marched along the outskirts of FIU’s campus to finish in front of the Presidential house, but were met with police blockage, not allowing protesters to approach the building. 

Although police could be seen following protesters in golf carts and guarding the entrance leading to the Presidential House, their intervention was minimal compared to past protests

“I think that it was done, not out of nicety and not out of respect, it was done because of the professional coordination, that again, the SJP had the initiative of going towards and coordinating. … This is a matter of business,” says JonCarlo Ospina, a Young Democratic Socialist of America at FIU member. 

SJP members were seen talking to FIU police on the sidewalk leading up to the Presidential House, but what was discussed is unknown. 

PantherNOW attempted to speak with members but they declined to speak with reporters.

SJP’s frustrations with FIU police intervention were announced amidst the protest near the front of the Presidential House on what they claim to be exaggerated measures that FIU police are taking on their student-ran march. 

“Take a look over there. Do know how many cop cars there are? All these cops for a bunch of students who are just chanting. The ivory tower gets so shaken when a bunch of people speak. They can’t stand it. They have to call the big guns, they have to call the priority response team,” says Zuhra Alchtar, SJP Co-president. 

The row of police cars lined up in the Presidential House parking lot where protesters were met. | Danette Heredia, PantherNOW

As the march traveled along the outskirts of FIU, facing main roads like 8th Street and 107th Avenue, numerous cars honked and rolled down their windows to cheer protesters in support. 

With all this support, there was still an instance of someone recording the protesters while yelling “free Israel” over their chants. 

“I’m glad that people outside the campus kinda get an idea of what’s going on in FIU…. FIU students are talking about it and they will keep protesting,” says Summer Jandali, a student a part of the protest. 

Protesters walking on the sidewalk of 8th Street chanting as cars honked in support. | Danette Heredia, PantherNOW

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