By Daniel Ngongo

Yesterday’s protest at the University of Louisville reflected global concerns over the increasing hostilities in the Gaza Strip.

The “Day of Resistance” event, organized by the Louisville Students for Justice in Palestine and the Party for Socialism and Liberation Louisville, unfolded outside the Bingham Humanities Building and the Student Activity Center Plaza at noon.

In relation to the ongoing conflict in Gaza, recent reports indicate that both sides have faced increasing casualties amid rising hostilities. This escalation has led to widespread international calls for de-escalation and a push for peace negotiations.

During the campus protest, an individual began vocalizing opposing remarks toward the gathered attendees. Quick intervention by the Dean of Students office members ensured the situation remained under control.

In the wake of the protest, the President of the University of Louisville released a statement (emphasis below) Thursday that emphasized the institution’s dedication to upholding the First Amendment. The U of L Free Speech website provides more information about the university’s long-standing stance.

“Many in our communities – both on and off campus – have strongly questioned the university allowing such a gathering on campus and have expressed disbelief and anger that the university has not censured this organization. The answer is that as a public university, the University of Louisville’s restrictions on such speech – no matter how offensive the content – would constitute a violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution that protects free speech…”

“…Although bound to uphold First Amendment rights, the university strongly and unequivocally condemns the horrific atrocities we witnessed this past weekend in Israel as well as violence or the promotion of violence targeting innocent civilians.”

“…We are grieving together as a community and know this tragic loss of life and horrifying violence has deeply impacted everyone. We also know that the violence and the uncertainty surrounding it has been especially traumatic and evoked fear for many of our Jewish, Muslim, Israeli, and Palestinian students, faculty, and staff, and those who have loved ones that are being impacted.”

The university’s statement concluded by acknowledging the potential emotional and psychological impact of the Gaza events on its community members, urging those affected to utilize the university’s available resources and support services.

The Louisville PSL’s next demonstration is set to be on October 14th, at 2 p.m., on the Big Four Bridge.

File Photos // Anthony Riley, The Louisville Cardinal