On Monday night, UCSC group Students for Justice in Palestine held a vigil to mourn the Gazans killed by Israeli bombing and siege. Over a hundred people stood in silence at the UCSC Quarry Plaza as night fell.
A speaker whose identity was kept hidden—all speakers wore masks to hide their identity in consideration of their safety—gave a brief history of Palestine over the last seventy-five years. The vigil was not merely for the twenty-four hundred Gazans killed since Oct. 7th, but for all those Palestinians who have died under Israeli occupation, he explained.
Another speaker recited the opening of the Quran, Sura Al-Fatiha, upon the request of his friend in Gaza.
Another speaker acknowledged the danger Palestinian face today and thanked the crowd for coming despite the personal risk they faced doing so: “I know it is easier to speak out from the safety of social media but it means a lot seeing the community mobilize like this,” they said.
There was no noticeable disturbance of the proceedings.
Draped in a Palestinian flag, two people cried. Students drew messages of solidarity on the side-walk and placed candles around the Palestinian flag.
The organizers told the crowd that no video of the event or pictures of people’s faces would be allowed. The organizers of the event declined to comment.