Filipino student in US suspended for supporting anti-genocide protest

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This article is available in Pilipino

The University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) in the United States unjustly suspended Filipino student Eliana Atienza on May 9 after participating and leading the camp against the genocidal campaign of Zionist Israel, supported by the US, against the Palestinian people. UPenn suspended Atienza, along with five other students, and stripped her of dormitory and other student services.

The UPenn campus was just one of many similar protests across the US. Since the second week of April, thousands of students have continued to launch protests and set up camps against the US and Israeli genocide in Gaza. They were also assaulted and harassed by the US armed forces.

They set up camps on major campuses to call for the withdrawal of their universities from all investments and ties to the Zionist regime in Israel and the arms companies that supply it with weapons. Many universities work closely with the US military–industrial complex, and are thus complicit in Israel’s genocide in Gaza.

The League of Filipino Students (LFS) condemned the suspension of Atienza at UPenn. “Her bravery as a foreign student in an imperialist country that has brutally attacked protesters in recent weeks…should serve as an example to Filipino students in the Philippines and around the world to stand in solidarity with Palestine and stand against the US military industry,” the group said.

Her father, Alejandro Ilagan Atienza, better known as Kuya Kim, also expressed his support for Eliana. He said, his daughter really expresses the things she believes in and in this case, she is anti-genocide and anti-war.

Just after the outbreak of the bloody war of Zionist Israel against the Palestinian people in October 2023, Eliana and other UPenn students expressed their condemnation of the genocide. Eliana is currently in her second year of college and is taking a BA Environmental Studies course.

Since October 7, 2023, when Zionist Israel launched a massive attack on Gaza City, at least 35,091 Palestinians have been killed while more than 78,000 have been injured and hundreds of thousands have been displaced. Most of those who died in the incessant bombing and attacks were women and children.

Israeli forces air and naval strikes in Gaza City are still ongoing. In the International Court of Justice decision yesterday, it described the situation in Gaza as catastrophic, particularly in the Rafah district, and ordered Israel to stop its offensives there.

AB: Filipino student in US suspended for supporting anti-genocide protest