Rally ends in melt down
February 12, 2009 11:30 PM
Two people were arrested Wednesday afternoon during a confrontation between the College Republicans and Palestinian students in front of the Cesar Chavez Student Center.
Jeremy Stern, 19, of San Francisco and Muhammad Abdullah, 25, of Mira Loma were charged with battery to a police officer, resisting arrest and petty theft, according to university spokeswoman Ellen Griffin.
The demonstration started around noon when members of the College Republicans were having an anti-Hamas event and trying to get students to sign a petition in opposition to Hamas.
Soon, around 50 people surrounded the tent that the student organization had set up.
"I feel it's a terrible thing to take it out on a religion. Sad on the College Republican to do something like this and sad the university is allowing this as a freedom of speech and not a hate speech," said Tayler Mehit, a member of the Student Against War, who was present at the demonstration.
At one point, James Kincaid, president of the College Republicans, stepped on a Hamas flag.
An unidentified person grabbed the table that was in front of the tent and flipped it over and another student stepped over and grabbed Leigh Wolf, the former president of the student organization.
The campus police, who were informed of the demonstration before hand, were nearby and immediately separated both parties.
Suddenly shouts of "Free Free Palestine" broke among the crowd.
"I don't care about being respectful. It's free speech...," said Trent Downes, a member of the organization, during the event.
Many Palestinian students who were involved in this event wanted to be remain anonymous because it is frowned upon to lash out against the government if they ever wanted to return to Palestine.
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