Florida State Suspends Left Wing Student Activist Group for Disrupting Board Meeting With Pro-Palestinian Chants

2024-02-02 09:00:33

Students for a Democratic Society is still a thing? Weren’t they sort of big in the 1960s?

Florida State Suspends Student Group for Disrupting Board Meeting

Florida State University has suspended its campus chapter of Students for a Democratic Society after members chanting pro-Palestinian slogans disrupted a Board of Trustees meeting in November, The Tallahassee Democrat reported.

The decision means SDS loses its status as an official student organization and cannot participate in campus events. The suspension will last until May 15, 2025, at which point the group can reapply for recognition.

The precipitating incident occurred Nov. 10, when members of Florida State’s SDS chapter joined students from other campus groups in attending a trustee meeting with the intention to voice support for the Palestinian cause during public comments. But that portion of the meeting was moved up on the schedule, so they missed it.

Frustrated and upset, students then interrupted the meeting by waving Palestinian flags and placards and chanting, “Free, free Palestine” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” before police removed them, the Democrat reported.

“As an educational institution, Florida State University welcomes free inquiry, diverse thought, rigorous debate and peaceful assembly,” FSU spokeswoman Amy Farnum-Patronis told the newspaper. “However, students and student organizations may not disrupt university business, student learning or the normal operations of the university.”

The group, which has until the end of the week to file an appeal, said it “strongly condemns” the ruling and vowed to keep operating.

“SDS recognizes this as a part of a greater surge of political repression across U.S. colleges against organizations that stand with Palestine,” members wrote on Instagram Monday. “Our support for a free Palestine is unwavering and is not contingent on recognition by the University, nor the support of governing bodies. While these attacks may briefly divert our attention we will remain vigilant and steadfast in our mission.”

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