Students for Justice posters torn down

    Students for Justice has alleged that flyers promoting its week of events about Palestinian-Israeli conflict awareness were torn down or vandalized within 24 hours of being posted.

    Courtesy of Students for Justice

    “”Over half of our flyers were torn down,”” said Students for Justice President Fawad Shaiq. “”There were others left next to them that I had seen when putting up ours the night before. Most of the flyers that were vandalized were in the Price Center along the handicap walkway. About 20 to 30 were vandalized.””

    According to Shaiq, more than 1,700 flyers were posted on Jan. 5, Jan. 6 and Jan. 13.

    Most of the vandalized flyers were marked with the Star of David, a Jewish symbol. Some flyers that were lined up together had only a line drawn through them with a black marker, according to Shaiq.

    According to event volunteer Murat Yildiz, there has been speculation as to whom the culprits might be, but there are no definite suspects.

    “”Nobody saw someone personally take it down,”” Yildiz said. “”You can’t blame someone, but it doesn’t take a genius to figure out who is doing it.””

    In response to the hate incidents, Union of Jewish Students Vice President Elana Segal was “”disgusted”” by the disrespect shown toward Students for Justice’s efforts.

    “”[UJS] does not condone such behavior,”” Segal said. “”Everyone on this campus has a right to protected free speech.””

    Bader El-Gheussein, a member of Students for Justice, reported the vandalism to Elizabeth Urtecho del Castillo of the Student Office of Human Relations.

    “”We went and showed Elizabeth some of the posters that were vandalized,”” El-Gheussein said. “”She gave us stickers to post next to the remaining posters with graffiti that said, ‘This is a Hate Crime.'””

    According to Urtecho del Castillo, she used the report filed by El-Gheussein to file another report with the UCSD campus police. At this point, since there are no suspects, there will be no further action by her office or the police, Urtecho del Castillo said.

    “”It’s so important to report hate-based incidents,”” Urtecho del Castillo said. “”A hate incident is not a crime, but unreported incidents can escalate to a crime. This is the first phase — not liking someone. But if we don’t stop it here, it could become a physical fight or attack.””

    Urtecho del Castillo also said that plain clothes-wearing campus security officers were placed at the Jan. 10 lecture, partially due to the incident. She said that undercover community service officers will be present at the other two meetings as well.

    Nate Floyd of the UCSD Police Department confirmed the presence of officers at the Jan. 10 lecture, but said that this was not out of the ordinary.

    “”We typically have undercover officers at events like this,”” Floyd said.

    Shaiq was disappointed that the flyers were marked with graffiti, but acknowledged that the placement of the anti-hate crime stickers brought more attention and publicity to the lecture series.

    “”The point of these events is to create awareness of alternative viewpoints regarding this conflict and to educate the campus community in general,”” Shaiq said.

    Yildiz said that the removal and marking of flyers was an insufficient solution.

    “”Both sides need to have an open dialogue to solve this problem,”” Yildiz said. “”At the university level, you should really be able to do that.””

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