8 ways to support student protesters

As college students nationwide courageously protest Israel’s attacks on Gaza, here’s how you can show solidarity.

Across the U.S., thousands of students are protesting to demand their colleges and universities denounce Israel’s attacks on Gaza and divest from companies profiting from these atrocities. But instead of respecting students’ right to peacefully assemble, many universities have responded with brutal force and called in police. Students have faced tear gas, police beatings, harassment, and arrests—in addition to suspensions and other academic consequences.  

AFSC joins in solidarity with students and their powerful nonviolent protest, just as we have supported war resisters throughout our history. We urge colleges and universities to respect students’ rights and listen to their concerns. It’s time for these institutions—and all responsible investors—to divest from companies profiting from human suffering in Gaza.

Here are some ways you can show your support for students in this critical moment.

1. Provide food, blankets, first aid supplies, and other requested assistance to student organizing groups. 

Many community members around the country have donated essential supplies to students. These needs will grow and evolve as protests continue. Find out what student groups need and, if you can, deliver goods or donate funds to help. To see what’s needed, check out recent Instagram posts from student organizing groups. Here are just some of them: 

Boston University @bu_sjp
Carnegie Mellon University @cmustudentsforpalestine
Chicago-area schools @sjpchicago
City University of New York @cunygse 
Columbia University @cuapartheiddivest
Cornell University @cmlcornell
DePaul University @sjpdepaul
Emerson University @sjpemerson
Emory University @emory.sjp
Harvard University @harvxrdpsc
Massachusetts Institute of Technology @mit_caa
Middlebury College @sjp_middlebury
New School @tns.sjp
New York University @nycpym @nyu_sjp 
Ohio State University @sjposu
Philadelphia-area schools @phillypalestinecoalition
Swarthmore University @swarthmoresjp
Tufts University @sjptufts
University of California Los Angeles @sjpatucla
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign @sjp.uiuc
University of Massachusetts Amherst @umassdissenters
University of Minnesota @sjpumn The 
University of New Mexico @unmpalestinesolidaritycamp
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill @uncsjp
University of North Carolina Charlotte @unccencampment
University of Rochester @sjp.ur
University of Texas Dallas @sjputd
University of Wisconsin Madison @sjpuwmadison

2. Divest for Palestinian rights - wherever you are!



Photo: Mike Merryman-Lotze/AFSC

Right now, students are risking arrest, police violence, and their academic careers to call on universities to divest from the companies complicit in Israeli attacks on Gaza and in the Israeli occupation. One university and two cities already committed to divest! Use this guide to urge more universities, cities, retirement plans, workplaces, and faith communities to divest for Palestinian rights. Share it with others who want to learn more.   

3. Use and share our guide on how to stay safer at a protest.

Are you taking part in a protest? Do you know someone who is? Explore and share our tips on bystander intervention so you’re prepared to respond if you witness violence or harassment from police, counter-protesters, or anyone else. And check out our toolkit for a refresher on your rights as a protester and more ways to keep yourself and everyone around you safe.

4.  Show solidarity and support wherever you are.

Download and print our posters with the messages “Ceasefire Now,” “Stop U.S. military aid to Israel,” and “End the blockade on Gaza.” Use them at protests or display them in the windows of your home, at your business or organization, or in any community gathering space.

5. Take action to call for a cease-fire in Gaza.

Every Friday, AFSC brings together people across the country for an online gathering. We get the latest updates on what’s happening in Gaza from AFSC staff and other experts. Then, together, we make phone calls to our members of Congress to bring an end to this devastation. Register today to join us! You can also contact Congress by emailing your elected officials.

6. Express your support by writing a letter to the editor. 



Photo: @loveandstrugglephotos

If protests are happening at a college campus in your area, it’s likely your local news outlets are covering it. Make sure it’s clear that community members like you support their efforts and a cease-fire for Gaza. Write a letter to the editor using these tips.

7. If you’re an alum of any of these schools, contact your alma mater.

Use your status as an alum to reach out to the school’s administration. Tell them you support these protests and urge them to meet students’ demands and drop any charges against participating students immediately.  

8. Learn more by hearing directly from people in Gaza. 

Last year, AFSC and Haymarket Books published “Light in Gaza: Writings Born of Fire,” an anthology of essays and poems by Palestinian writers from Gaza. Explore the anthology to hear firsthand experiences and insights from people who have lived under Israel’s brutal military blockade. The “Light in Gaza” e-book is free to download.