Last Thursday, at a Clements Center event called “Israeli Intelligence – Balancing Conservatism and Innovation,” a pro-Palestine protest interrupted the speaker, retired Israeli Defense Intelligence Colonel Itai Shapira, on multiple occasions. The event took place in the LBJ Plaza just outside the LBJ Library from 5:30 to 7:00 PM. About a third of the way through the event, around six o’clock, a parade of about 30 students marched parallel to the LBJ School to the plaza. They were banging drums, holding a large banner that said “War Criminals Off Campus,” holding signs that said things like “To Exist is to Resist,” “Right to Return,” and “No Justice No Peace.”
After about ten minutes of interruption, the event host, Stephen Slick, gave the protesters two out of three warnings per university guidelines. UTPD was present at the event and the protesters eventually moved on, but they positioned themselves across the LBJ Fountain, still visible and audible from the event venue. The event then went on until it was interrupted once again at about 6:50 PM when the protesters returned chanting things like “Colonel Shapira has got to go.” UTPD was once again present at the event venue. After about five minutes, the protesters marched away from the area. The event ended at 7:00 PM, and the protesters continued to march down Deloss Dodds Way, down East Mall, and then to the tower, where they took photos and dispersed. Upon questioning, a member of the protest said that they were a group of students in support of the freedom of Palestine and that the protest was impromptu.
Editor’s Note: This story has been updated for accuracy on 14 October 2021.