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The News Site of Fresno City College

The Rampage Online

The News Site of Fresno City College

The Rampage Online

Fresno Reacts to Gaza

How Local Activist Feels About the War Between Hamas and Israel
Protestors+gathered+across+all+corners+of+the+Blackstone+and+Nees+Ave+intersection+which+was+organized+by+Free+Palestine+on+Oct.+17.+2023.
Photo by: Jesus Herrera
Protestors gathered across all corners of the Blackstone and Nees Ave intersection which was organized by Free Palestine on Oct. 17. 2023.

Fresno residents have been protesting in response to the war between Israel and Hamas and the growing violence against Palestineans in Gaza.

The purpose of these protests is to bring awareness to what is going on and to hold the U.S. government accountable for its involvement in the conflict.

Protests in support of Palestine were held on Oct. 14 and 17. The most recent took place on Oct. 21 near Riverpark Shopping Center on Nees and Blackstone in Fresno.

“I feel like it’s about time, I feel like this is the least everybody can do,” protester Yusuf Robinson said.

Reza Nekumanesh, a local Muslim leader, has been in Fresno for 28 years protesting the oppression of Palestinian people.

“The craziest part and the reason we are on the streets is because these are with weapons made in the U.S. These are with weapons supplied by the U.S, and these are attacks being done with the funding of the United States so we have a direct link to those murders,” Nekumanesh said. “We are directly connected to the slaughter, genocide, mass excavation of a people.”

As of Oct. 23, the war’s death toll is estimated at more than 5,000 Palestinians and 1,400 Israelis, according to live updates from AP News.

Nekumanesh encourages people to support organizations like Islamic Relief. Individuals can also show support by reaching out to elected officials and national leaders to address concerns or issues they might have.

Protestor who asked to be identified as Layla spoke to fellow protestors about the actions of Hamas and their dissatisfactions with the U.S. government on Oct. 17, 2023. (Photo by: Jesus Herrera)

“To demand not to ask, to demand that the blockade of aid be lifted, that aid be let into Gaza, and that there be a cease-fire, and we hold the state of Israel accountable for the crimes,” Nekumanesh said.

Nekumanesh said that students often do not appreciate their position to effect change.

“Students are at an institution where there is free thought and free discussion and it is a place where students can gather and have those hard conversations whether it be with fellow students, professors, or administrators, and make them aware of Palestinian people and all oppressed people around the world.”
State Center Community College District Chancellor Carole Goldsmith sent a message to students and staff on Oct. 9, days after the surprise attack against Israel by Hamas.

In the message, Goldsmith acknowledged that many students, faculty and staff have familial and cultural ties to the region. She called on the campus community to have grace and understanding for those who are experiencing heightened emotions in response to the attacks.

“In times of global uncertainty, it is vital that we come together as a community to support one another. Your understanding and empathy can make a significant difference during these challenging times,” Goldsmith said in the message.

Nekumanesh said her statement came across as one-sided. He viewed it as a gesture of solidarity with Israel that failed to mention the lives of Palestinians killed by Israel.

This article has be changed since the print edition released on Oct. 25, 2023 to correct the death count stated originally as 14,000 Israelis killed in the conflict to 1,400. The headline has been changed from “Hamas and Palestine” to “Hamas and Israel.” Photo captions have also been edited to be more clear and correct the misspelling of dissatisfactions.

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About the Contributors
Caleb Nerdahl, Reporter
Caleb Nerdahl was born and raised in Clovis California and graduated from Clovis East High School in 2021. He is currently enrolled at Fresno City College and this is his second semester being in the Rampage. Some things Caleb enjoys doing include going thrifting, collecting vinyl records, listening to music, and watching movies. Some of his favorite artists include Ryan Beatty, SZA, Omar Apollo, and The Weeknd. While some of his favorite movies include Bodies, Bodies, Bodies, American Psycho, and the minion movie. Caleb also loves to go running. He has run cross country and track competitively for almost 10 years but stopped after high school and now he just enjoys running for fun. A fun fact about Caleb is that after he graduated he attended college in Texas but after a year decided that the cowboy state was not for him and moved back to Clovis to attend community college. He hopes to attend a university the following year but is undecided on where he will go. Another fact about Caleb is that he loves coffee and is always looking to try new coffee places. His go-to drink is an iced dirty chai latte.
Jesus Herrera, Editor-in-Chief
Jesus Herrera is the Editor in Chief at The Rampage for the spring 2024 semester at Fresno City College. This will be his fourth and final semester on the team. While also fulfilling his duties as EIC, Jesus still plans on growing his writing and photography skills throughout the semester. Born and raised in Fresno Jesus grew up on shows like Avatar: The Last Airbender, Spectacular Spider-man, and Justice League. These started his love for storytelling of all kinds and are the foundation of his belief that a story can have a huge impact on someone's life. To this day he is a big comic and manga fan with his current favorites being Kaiju No.8 and Invincible. Jesus has been going to Fresno City since 2019 but started his journalism major fall of 2022. He has also studied film and American sign language at Fresno City College with the ladder being his major prior to 2020.

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