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​​Pro-Palestine students rally against USF suspensions and expulsions

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Tampa rally against suspension and expulsion of student protesters. | Staff/Fight Back! News

Tampa, FL – On June 18, students led a rally in protest of the University of South Florida (USF) suspension of Joseph Charry and expulsion of Victoria Hinckley. Both students, members of Tampa Bay SDS, were hit with conduct charges related to their participation at the solidarity encampments against the Israeli genocide in Gaza, Palestine. Charry is an international student and Victoria Hinckley is a senior set to graduate.

A lively group of 40 people marched from a nearby rally point to the USF Bulls fountain in front of the Marshall Student Center. Students held signs reading, “Victory to Palestine!” “Defend student protests for Palestine!” and “Stop the suspension of Joseph Charry!” 

Students delivered statements on behalf of Charry and Hinckley, as well as speeches denouncing USF administrators’ response to the student movement for Palestine.

Hinckley was unable to deliver her statement in person, as she was trespassed from the SFU campus. Another student read her statement aloud, “They cannot say they value free speech when the reason they do this is because I was at a protest on campus.”

Hinckley was expelled from USF during her senior year, just “an assignment away from graduating.”

“USF would rather deport its students and faculty for protesting, violating our First Amendment rights, than stop supporting a genocide and divest from it!” said Joseph Charry in his statement. Charry is an international student facing the risk of deportation as his U.S. visa is dependent on his university enrollment status.

Tampa Bay Students for a Democratic Society led chants, “Disclose, divest, we will not stop, we will not rest!” This refers to the student demand for USF to disclose their investments and pull back from companies involved with Israel. They also chanted, “USF shame on you, student voices matter too!”

Democratic Socialist of America, Tampa Alliance Against Racism and Political Repression, and Freedom Road Socialist Organization were present in solidarity with the students.

#TampaFL #FL #AntiWarMovement #International #MiddleEast #Palestine #StudentMovement #SDS #PoliticalRepression #DSA #NAARPR #TAARPR #FRSO #Featured


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