Protestors demand Pomona College divest itself from Israel-Hamas weapons firms
By Andrew Alonzo | firstname.lastname@example.org
Claremont Colleges students staged a sit-in protest on December 8 demanding Pomona College divest funds from its endowment they say are benefiting weapons manufacturers and institutions that aid Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza. The students also demanded Pomona College officials call for a cease-fire in the conflict.
Pomona Divest Apartheid, the 5C Palestine Liberation Collective behind the protest, as well as three other recent demonstrations in the last week, also made demands at the event, which included about 100 protestors, including that Pomona College adhere to the campaign promises of the United States Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel; publicly condemn Israel’s occupation of Gaza and the genocide of Palestinian peoples there; and to institute anti-discrimination policies that specifically protect Palestinian, Muslim, Arabic, Southwest Asian, North African, Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous students.
The event outside Pomona College’s Frary Dining Hall began with Pomona Divest Apartheid demonstrators placing about 2,665 Palestinian flags into the ground of Walker Beach, which they said represented each Palestinian child killed in the conflict between October 7 and October 26. Protestors blocked the north and south entrances of the Frary Dining Hall, and PDA activists led chants. Two students also tossed red dye into the Edward P. and Mary G. Bosbyshell Fountain outside the dining hall. About 90 minutes after it began, students received an email from Pomona College Executive Chef Travis Ellis, informing them that the annual Harry Potter themed dinner, which was to take place at Frary, had been canceled due to the protest.
Organizers then read hundreds of names of Palestinian children who were killed in the Israel-Hamas conflict between October 7 and 26, continuing the count that began during a December 5 demonstration on the Pomona College campus, when about 2,000 names were spoken. The protest also included an audio presentation of testimonies from Palestinians on the ground in Gaza.
The student protestors present on Friday said they wore masks to protect their identity and for health purposes. The majority who to the Courier refused to identify themselves, citing fear of retaliation from Pomona College.
According to a safety rules sheet given to demonstrators, students were asked not to engage with “antagonists,” including campus security, Claremont police, professors, or anyone filming, including media representatives.