Israel-Hamas war: Students for Gaza at San Francisco State University scale back encampment; reach agreement with administration

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) —Campus demonstrations protesting the war in Gaza have been going on for nearly a month now.

The first protest began at Columbia on April 17 and now some of those protests are winding down as students reach agreements with university officials.

Students at San Francisco State University have reached an agreement with university leadership over divestment from Israel.

This comes after two weeks of a campus encampment there.

MORE: Pro-Palestinian protesters take over condemned hall at UC Berkeley, police say

Pro-Palestinian protesters took over Anna Head Alumnae Hall at UC Berkeley on Wednesday afternoon, police say.

On Wednesday, students revealed more details about the agreement on divesting from weapons manufactures and other similar groups in the future.

“Students for Gaza” say are they are seeing progress made at SF State.

They are scaling back their encampment and taking down about thirty of their tents. But demonstrators plan on staying until more progress is made.

They say the fight is far from over.

“This is progress, not a victory, there is no victory during genocide,” said Ayesha with Students for Gaza.

RELATED: SFSU president meets with pro-Palestinian student activists for open negotiation session

San Francisco State President Lynn Mahoney sat down with pro-Palestinian student activists for discussion during an open negotiation session.

“This fight is far from over,” said Sydney R. with Students for Gaza.

“This is exactly the power of mass action, the power of collaborative action,” said Ali with Students for Gaza.

Students for Gaza at San Francisco State say they will continue fighting.

On Wednesday afternoon, after their rally at Cesar Chavez plaza, they began scaling back their encampment.

Protesters say they are moving in the right direction.

“I feel that change is in progress,” said Sydney.

Last week, SF State University President Lynn Mahoney met face-to-face meeting with “Students for Gaza” at Cesar Chavez and heard their demands.

Then, administrators met with students on Monday and reached a big agreement-to divest from weapons manufacturers.

According to student leaders, the university will also limit other, indirect investments that violate human rights.

Overall, students say administrators met three of their four demands.

“We have received a commitment to divest from weapons manufacturing, to disclose clear accounts of where SFSU is investing its money, and to publicly defend our right to protest,” said Ayesha.

However, protesters say President Mahoney stopped short of calling the thousands of Palestinian deaths a genocide.

RELATED: SF State students join college campuses protesting war in Gaza

Students are set to protest the war in the Middle East at San Francisco State University on Monday.

Students says they will keep a presence on campus.

“So we are going to resume our activity and our presence here on campus. Will not stay the night,” said Sydney R.

The agreement comes right before graduation for San Francisco State students on May 24.

“I think the timing is curious. But you know we are never going to complain about things being done quickly because that’s always going to be the initiative,” said Sydney R. “I think we are holding our breath until we see the whole enactment and implementation of these demands so we are not even half way there yet.”

Students say they are pushing for definitive change and will remain on campus as long as it takes.

“This is the first step. We continue to organize thru summer and onwards,” said Ayesha.

“As long as there is a genocide in Gaza, we are going to be out here to bring our awareness and show our solidarity…until we see the full divestment from our university, and we will continue showing that strength,” said Sydney R.

In response to the students, President Mahoney released a statement saying in part:

“I remain appreciative of the peaceful protests that have allowed all of our students to complete their semesters without interruption, and of this work to better align our investment strategies with our values.”

MORE: Several detained at UC Irvine as protest escalates near Pro-Palestinian encampment

Students say they will follow the disclosure of SFSU’s investments.

They will also work with the administration over the summer and fall semester to meet other demands.

Students for Gaza say it’s important to keep the pressure on administrators here and across the CSU system.

They are pushing for the entire CSU system to divest.

They say they hope their presence on campus here at SF State will inspire other demonstrators.

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