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A walk for Palestine

Students of HHS protest through civil disobedience in support of Palestine as the conflict between Palestine and Israel worsens.
G. Watt
Seniors Jahnavi Sachchidanand and Noor Ethawi address the group of students leading the walkout.

The bell rings for the start of the third period on Friday, Nov. 17. Most students are rushing to their classes or already sitting in their assigned seats, but outside of Door 10, a group of students fill the sidewalks. 

Some students huddle and talk quietly waiting for others to join them while others passionately discuss the conflict in Palestine. When senior Jahnavi Sachchidanand steps up onto the concrete bench, the group goes silent. 

“I want to make it clear why we’re doing this and what our points are,” Sachchidanand said. “The first one is to show solidarity and stand with the people of Palestine. The second one is to raise awareness on a smaller scale. There are still kids in this building who don’t even know what Palestine is.”

On Oct. 7, the Hamas attacked Israeli communities. In response, Israel launched an assault on the Gaza Strip, killing over 10,000 Palestinians and destroying nearly half of Gaza’s homes. 

Huntley High School’s peaceful demonstration is intended to shed light on the atrocities committed against Palestinian civilians, including women and children. 

“I’ve heard the words, ‘you’re either with us or you’re with the terrorists,’ and those exact set of words was used as an excuse to kill 1 million Iraqis, some of which being my family,” senior Noor Ethawi said. “We shouldn’t let those same words be repeated again to kill 2 million Palestinians and destroy their land.”

This conflict, however, did not just begin on Oct. 7. The conflict between Israel and Palestine has been occurring for 75 years impacting thousands of families, soldiers, and immigrants. 

“I’m choosing to walk because my family is immigrants. It’s interesting to see the difference and how people respond to this conflict versus Ukraine and Russia,” Sachchidanand said. “We stayed with Ukraine, but now, it’s too confusing, and people say it’s too complex to pick a side with this conflict. I’m standing to show people why there aren’t two sides.” 

While each student decided to walk out for individual reasons, they all stood for justice for the Palestinians. This demonstration was students’ form of their First Amendment right to freedom of speech allowing them to make a difference in a conflict much bigger than themselves. 

“I feel like the atrocities happening in Palestine are just too horrible to be ignored,” senior Humza Bangash said. 

Around 35 students participated in the walkout for Palestine, which lasted approximately 45 minutes and included speeches by Sachchidanand and Ethawi. After the speeches, the students walked around the square behind the building, up to door one, and back to their spot outside of door 10, listening to Palestinian music and walking in thoughtful silence.

“I chose to walk out in solidarity with Palestinians, to be a part of the change,” senior Eros Moreno-Garza said. 

When the students returned to door 10, Ethawi and Sachchidanand led the students in a dance to Palestinian music displaying their unity and passion for the cause. Whether impacted directly by the genocide or not, the students danced as one. 

“Both sides have losses, but one side is only military. The other one is civilian. It is not a war. It is a genocide. Call it what it is,” Ethawi said.

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About the Contributor
Maggie Armstrong
Maggie Armstrong, Editor-in-Chief
Maggie Armstrong is an Editor-in-Chief of The Voice, and it is her third year on staff. In her free time, Maggie reads, takes ballet and pointe classes, and coaches Sparkle Squad at HCA. She loves spending time with family and friends.

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