Boston University’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine along with other BU students held a sit-in Thursday on the steps of the Tsai Performance Center to acknowledge the death of Palestinian civilians in Gaza.
Throughout the three-hour sit-in, 1,800 of approximately 10,000 names were read in remembrance, said Adam Benzinane, one of the event’s organizers.
“When we read the names of the martyrs, we read the names of the ones who refuse to stop living,” he said. “Their memory, their poetry, their dreams and their people are alive and will live forever.”
He said the goal of reading the list of names was to “to lift their testimonies.”
“I believe it’s something that we all should take a part of as humans because this is a human rights issue,” said a student who requested to remain anonymous.
The Ministry of Health in Ramallah has reported that more than 10,000 Palestinians have died since Israel’s military response began, according to CNN.
Fatimah Bouderdaben, a Ph.D. student at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, expressed the reason for participating in the sit-in.
“I am really against the genocide that’s happening in Palestine,” she said. “I want to be part of the collective movement against genocide.”
Another student who chose to remain anonymous said that the event represented a personal struggle, as half of their family is Muslim.
“I want to show up when people are experiencing similar things,” they said. “I hope that this event can show more people that what’s happening is very real, it’s very tangible and that the people who are upset are able to mourn together.”
Bouderdaben expressed the importance of the event taking part in a central part of campus.
“I’m hoping that a lot of people who were walking by heard what we were talking about and saw the really long line of names,” she said.
Mary Haddad, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences and participant of the sit-in, said she hoped the sit-in demonstrated how students are not going to “be quiet and be complicit.”
“To the BU administration, I hope the sit-in today shows them that students won’t be complicit to this financial and human labor support for the apartheid regime and occupation,” Haddad said.
Benzinane expressed the event’s goal in uplifting voices to bring the listed names to life and remind that these names were people with lives. He also said he hopes the event reached those who may be “too scared to speak up.”
“I wanted them to see this as a sign that their voice is valuable, and their voice is necessary in the remembrance of these people,” Benzinane said. “I wanted [the event] to be a call of action and I hope that this event had an effect in that regard.”
Matthew Eadie contributed to the reporting of this article.