Antifa, Gaza camp students call for protesters to confront ‘March 4 Israel’ on University of Washington campus

May 12, 2024 | Political News

On Thursday it was announced that a Christian church would be leading a pro-Israel march through the Gaza camp on the University of Washington campus. Antifa promptly responded by calling for action against the march of Jews and Christians.

“Wear bloc, come with friends, stay dangerous,” a flier for the counter march says.

The university said in a statement that it “…is aware of a counter-protest being organized this Sunday that gives us significant concern because of the likelihood for confrontations. We have repeatedly conveyed our concerns about these risks to encampment organizers and to those who organize counter-protests. We are grateful to all, including leadership in the Jewish community, who are working to deescalate the situation. We also welcome the efforts of Muslim and Palestinian leaders who are working to deescalate.”

They further asked the students to disband their Gaza camp. “The University’s response to students’ call for change will not be based on an encampment. It will be through constructive engagement on issues that are important or meaningful to our students and broader campus community. We call on members to dismantle the encampment voluntarily for everyone’s safety and continue constructive engagement for collective action.”

Additionally, it was the University of Washington that provided the barricades Antifa and anti-Israel activists used to block students from traversing the campus. Tuesday evening, pro-Hamas activists allied with Antifa militants blocked all walkways leading to the anti-Israel “Liberated Zone” in the quad using metal barricades. The move was in response to a speech given by Turning Point USA’s CEO Charlie Kirk on campus.

In a statement to The Ari hoffman Show on Talk Radio 570 KVI a university spokesperson said, “Our priority is the safety and security of our campus community. The multiple events on campus Tuesday drew attendees with strongly opposing viewpoints, and we recognize that tensions are especially high due to events around the world.”

“Our hope was that people with opposing views would refrain from seeking confrontations and avoid antagonizing one another. The UW installed the barricades as a temporary effort Tuesday to dissuade groups from engaging with one another.”

However, UW did not provide security to staff the barricades and as a result, activists seized the barriers and would not let students, including Jews, walk freely on campus. Though the university claimed that the barricades were removed Wednesday, some were spotted in the encampment later in the week.

UW has done nothing to address the discrimination and violence that has been occurring in and around the encampment since it was created over two weeks ago.

Since the encampment was established, Jews on campus have been harassed and blocked from walking, Israeli flags have been stolen and destroyed, antisemitic slurs were used against Jewish students, buildings were vandalized with antisemitic and anti-cop graffiti, and vigils and rallies were held for terrorists.

Journalists have also been assaulted and had their video cameras spray painted. One Jewish student was even threatened by masked hammer-wielding men in masks who were yelling at him in Arabic.

Following the assault on the journalist, an increase in security was noticed around the campus

Friday evening, UW released a statement asking the encampment to disband.

According to the statement, “University of Washington leadership has been engaging with representatives of the encampment in the Quad for over a week to find common ground that would result in their voluntary decamping. These efforts continue. The University has a long history of engagement with students on issues that they care deeply about. These discussions are not always easy, but they are essential to learning, understanding, and collective action.”

On Tuesday night while the quad was being blockaded, university administrators were seen negotiating with one of the encampment activists who was identified as 39-year-old Michael Moynihan, who has charges pending for blockading the I-5 freeway in downtown Seattle in January for over 6 hours to protest Israel.

Sally Clark, vice president for campus community safety, told Hoffman, “We're not letting anyone walk across campus.”

The statement continued, “Every day the encampment remains, the security concerns escalate and become more serious – for our UW community and for the people in the encampment itself.”