Marquette protesters observe Nakba Remembrance Day

Residents and students in the Marquette area gather together to protest on the corner of West Washington and Third streets Wednesday afternoon. Protesters are advocating for a cease-fire concerning the war in Gaza. (Journal photo by Alexandria Bournonville)

MARQUETTE — Residents and students of the Marquette area protested in honor of the Palestinian day of commemoration, Nakba Remembrance Day, on the corner of West Washington and Third streets Wednesday.

According to the United Nations, Nakba Remembrance Day honors the “mass displacement and dispossession of Palestinians during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.” These Marquette protesters were commemorating the Nakba — literally translating to “the catastrophe” in Arabic — that they say continues today.

One independent organizer who is present at most pro-Palestinian protests, Ian Watson, said that in light of Israel’s recent push into the Palestinian city of Rafah in the Gaza Strip, now is the time to spread awareness and join their movement.

“We are honoring all the suffering the Palestinians have been through over the last 76 years on today’s Nakba Remembrance Day, reminding people that this is an ongoing struggle,” Watson said. “The Nakba is still going on. (The) Nakba did not end in 1948. They’re still being displaced, they’re still being mass murdered. They’re still being ethnically cleansed and wiped off their homeland so the fight continues until Palestine is free.”

Some of the activists present, including Watson, also took part in the Northern Michigan University encampment held not only in solidarity with Gazans but to work toward their three demands of the university administration: these include making a public statement that they condemn the genocide against Palestinians, sending a condolence email acknowledging the conflict’s effect on NMU students, and disclosing all financial agreements with Israel’s Tel Aviv University.

Watson reported that the student protesters are currently in talks with NMU President Brock Tessman concerning the finances connected to TAU. To disclose any monetary transactions, the requesters must make a pitch to the Board of Trustees as to why they should share the information. According to Watson, Tessman is working independently of his title with the student protesters to form the pitch; Tessman will not be officially sponsoring or endorsing the pitch using his presidential title.

The pitch is planned to be made by the protesters at the fall board of trustees’ meeting.

Alexandria Bournonville can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 506. Her email address is abournonville@miningjournal.net.


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