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Protest in Denver gets heated after students walk out of class to support Palestinians

Protest gets heated after students walk out of class to support Palestinians
Protest gets heated after students walk out of class to support Palestinians 02:08

Students on the Auraria campus in downtown Denver walked out of class Wednesday to show their support for the Palestinian people, demand a ceasefire in Gaza and call on the U.S. to stop supplying aid to the state of Israel.


They were met by counter-demonstrators who support Jewish students on campus. During the walkout, students chanted "free Palestine" while the pro-Israel demonstrators screamed "Israel forever" and "dead Palestinians are animals."

Sarah Rones, a Metropolitan State University student who identifies as Jewish, says she fears being on campus because she has recently seen anti-Jewish hatred everywhere in the world.

"One time I posted on Snapchat on the MSU story to donate to the victims of Hamas in Israel and not even five minutes later, someone sent back saying, 'death to all Jews,'" Rones said.

Sarah Rones CBS

But Maleeha Shah, the president of the Middle Eastern Student Association at Auraria, says they don't stand for hate. They just want the killing of innocent people in Gaza to stop.

"Our goal is not to make anyone feel like they are being terrorized, or like Muslims or Palestinians are antisemitic, because they are not," said Shah.

  Maleeha Shah CBS

Like Rones, she wants discrimination against her community to stop.

"There is definitely a lot of Islamophobic language being used," said Shah.

During the demonstration, the pro-Israel group attempted to drown out the pro-Palestinian crowd with music.


That caused the crowd to march and relocate temporarily to a different side of campus, but when they returned, the pro-Israel side was waiting for them and tempers flared, leading to some shoving. Auraria police quickly got the situation under control.

Both sides say they want peace in the Middle East, but they may never agree on who is responsible for the violence.


"I definitely share that feeling. I want peace," said Rones. "I want everyone who's being attacked by Hamas to find peace."

"We want to recognize that there are innocent lives being lost and the attack on Oct. 7 wasn't unprovoked. It was 75 years in the making," said Shah.

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