Students for justice in palestine and native student alliance vigil
Students for Justice in Palestine and the Native Student AllianceHolocaust and Genocide Awareness Week vigilBy Kaitlyn Griffith
Elizabeth Borneman, a recent DU graduate, and Michael Neil, a PhD student, set up a table to commemorate Arab villages depopulated and occupied in Israel in 1948. This event is referred to as the Nakba.
Borneman writes the name of a Palestinian village on a ribbon, which she will later add to the installation.According to the Institute for Middle East Understanding, more than 450 villages and towns were demolished to prevent the future return of refugees.
Borneman makes use of her knowledge of Arabic by including the Arabic name of the village on her ribbon. The word "Nakba" means "catastrophe" in Arabic.
Borneman ties her ribbon on the line hanging between two poles on Driscoll bridge. The vigil stood for three days, April 8-10, as a part of Holocaust and Genocide Awareness week.
The vigil was hosted by DUs Students forJustice in Palestine (SJP) as well as theNative Student Alliance (NSA). Members ofNSA shared a table with members of SJP andencouraged people to write the names of theNorth American tribes and nations decimatedby colonial powers. According to SharonJohnston in her article The Genocide of NativeAmericans: A Sociological View, conservativeestimates state that the population of theUnited States prior to European contact wasgreater than 12 million. Four centuries later,the count was reduced by 95 percent to237,000. The Inuit tribe was all but eliminated.
The ribbons were red, green, black and white, representing the Palestinian flag. According to Tamir Sorek in TheOrange and the Cross in the Crescent: Imagining Palestine in 1929, the flag was first used by Sharif Hussein in 1917.
Graduate student Raquel Moreira-Meade ties her ribbon to the installation.
SJPs sign sits in the window overlooking theeast side of campus, including the Sturm lawschool. DU Students for Justice in Palestine isa new student organization that began thisyear. In addition to the vigil, SJP has hostedother events relating to the Palestiniannarrative, including bringing spoken word poetRemi Kanazi to campus on April 11.
After three days of successful tabling, the supplies that NSA and SJP brought for the installation are nearly gone.
Moreira-Meade takes a picture of the installation. Dozens of Palestinian villages and Native American tribes were represented in the completed display.
From left to right: Borneman, Julia Bramante and Moreira-Meade discuss the level of participation of DU students in the vigil. "We were pleasantly surprised," Borneman said.
Borneman takes down the installation at the end of the day on Wednesday, April 10. The displacement of thePalestinians living in the villages and towns commemorated by the ribbons resulted in an estimated 7.1 million refugees worldwide, according to the Institute for Middle East Understanding.