San Francisco State pro-Palestinian protesters rally for Israel divestment

San Francisco State University has joined the growing list of student-led protests on college campuses over the Israel-Hamas war.

What started as a rally on Monday turned into an encampment near the San Francisco State University Student Center.

Hundreds of protesters filled the Malcolm X Plaza on the campus where students called for an end to the war in Gaza, and for the university to divest investments from companies doing business with Israel.

"CSU's investing hundreds of millions of dollars in the military-industrial complex, and we're not OK with that," said Jacob, an SF State student who would only provide his first name. "That's our tuition money. We should have a say in where all that money goes."

Those students moved from the plaza to a nearby grassy area where they started the Bay Area's third encampment on a college campus.

Spokespeople for the student campers said the encampment will send a message to school administrators.

"Mainly the divestment we're concerned about is the divestment on behalf of the California State University system from the Israeli military," said Amey, another student who only provided their first name.


UC Berkeley students set up 'Gaza Solidarity Encampment' on campus

Like other college campuses across the country, students at the University of California, Berkeley joined the "Gaza Solidarity Encampment" protest, calling for the university system to stop investing money in companies that provide military aid to Israel.

The newly formed Faculty for Justice in Palestine joined this latest protest, calling on the university to refrain from calling law enforcement to the campus, refrain from any academic retaliation against those protesting, and for the administrators to respect the students' right to protest.

"Our role here as faculty is to uplift and amplify what our students are trying to get through, not just on this campus but across the United States," said San Francisco State University Associate Professor Valerie Francisco-Menchavez.

The university says it respects the rights of community members to protest while preserving a safe campus environment.

In a statement, the university said the "SF State Foundation investment policy reflects its commitment to the values of the university, prioritizing social and racial justice, environmental sustainability, and climate action."


Columbia University protests: A timeline of how we got here

From Columbia University President Nemat Shafik testifying before Congress, to students returning Monday with tents to the NYC campus, here's a timeline on how we got here.

"I mean in the whole situation I’ve been kind of neutral I guess. I try not to get too involved," said student Raul Pantoja, who was passing by the encampment. 

"I’ve kind of kept away today, I’ve only kind of been here as its calmed down," said Zach Weinstein, a student who identifies as Jewish, and was concerned about some of the messaging and signage in the encampment, which included the words anti-Zionist. "It’s basically saying I can’t be a part of that conversation whatsoever because I believe that the state of Israel has a right to exist in any capacity and I think it creates an unwelcoming environment, but more so, it’s shutting down essential conversation."

"I’m a Jewish student myself and I have never felt unsafe," said student demonstrator, Jacob.

There is no timeline or date for when the encampment will end. 

"As long as it takes," said Jacob. "We have these demands and we plan to stay out here as long as that takes."