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Protestors clash over Israel and Gaza outside home of University of Colorado Regent chair

Protestors clash over Israel, Gaza outside home of CU Regent chair
Protestors clash over Israel, Gaza outside home of CU Regent chair 02:28

A usually quiet street in Superior was filled Saturday with the sounds of rival protesters gathering outside the home of University of Colorado Board of Regents Chair Callie Rennison over the university's ties to Israel and its actions in Gaza.

"Up, up with liberation! Down, down with occupation," pro-Palestinian protesters called, urging the University of Colorado to divest from Israel.

Many held signs with Rennison's face saying "Wanted: Callie Rennison for funding the genocide of the Palestinian people." They also laid bundles of fabric on the sidewalk outside her home.

Rival protesters gathered outside the home of University of Colorado Board of Regents Chair Callie Rennison in Superior over the university's ties to Israel and its actions in Gaza. CBS

"Callie Rennison is disrupting our education by making these ties with private equity and the military-industrial complex. She is choosing to invest in the war machine instead of investing in students," said Asa, a Jewish pro-Palestinian protester and Auraria Campus student.

Counter-protesters came with American and Israeli flags, and signs reading "lying about Israel committing genocide is antisemitic," to show support for Israel and condemn the actions of Hamas.

"Hamas has it in their charter to kill all Jews. This is something they have written, they say it out loud. They are the attackers, they are the aggressors," said Oren B., an Israeli-American neighbor.

Hamas' original 1988 charter contained language widely condemned as antisemitic, some of which has been characterized as inciting genocide against Jews. Hamas' 2017 charter, however, says the group's conflict isn't with Jews or their religion but with "the Zionist project" and "Zionists who occupy Palestine."

"We are not against Jews. I'm a Jew," said Asa. "I do not want the fact that many have disapproved of Hamas' actions to in some way denature the Palestinian cause and denature the Palestinians that are just fighting for freedom."

Protesters said they took to the neighborhood because their voices were not being heard on campus.

"Our administration says they respect our right to demonstrate, and yet they try to stop us at every turn," said Asa.

Meanwhile, neighbors say coming to Rennison's home crosses a line.

"We will not let our neighbors be intimidated. We will not let the victims be blamed for what's happening over there. There's a right, there's a wrong, and these are very clear lines," said Oren.

The Boulder County Sheriff's Office was on scene and warned neighbors about the demonstration prior. Despite minor incidents, they say the protest remained peaceful.

Rennison shared the following statement with CBS Colorado:

"From the beginning of this protest, the University of Colorado Board of Regents has been committed to our dedication to protecting free speech and has made it clear that protests are allowed as long as they do not violate campus policies and do not disrupt our mission to educate and perform necessary business operations.

As elected officials, we understand that there will be varying opinions on the positions we take as stewards of the university. However, targeting our homes as mine has been, which affects not only me but my family and neighbors, is out of line."  

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