UC Santa Barbara Students for Justice in Palestine organized a die-in and march starting at the Arbor and ending at the Engineering Science Building on Feb. 21. 

The group marched from the Arbor through the library to the Engineering Science Building. Sindhu Ananthavel / Daily Nexus

The die-in was held to raise awareness for Rafah, a southern Gaza city where more than 1.4 million people are sheltered following a series of Israeli military airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, Al Jazeera reported. Israel is currently planning an attack on the city, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said.

“UC students will not stand for the invasion of Rafah, the last so-called ‘safe zone’ in Gaza. Since October 7th, 30,0000 Palestinians in Gaza and hundreds in the West Bank have been murdered,” a UCSB Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) social media post read. “University of California has bankrolled this action with its 2 billion dollar investment in Blackrock and weapons companies — making it just as responsible as the settler colonial entity in this genocide.”

Over 50 SJP members and allies rallied before the UCSB library last Wednesday at noon. Many held signs with phrases such as, “End the occupation” and “Ceasefire now.”

“We will no longer allow [the university] to use our money to commit war crimes, and we demand divestment now,” an SJP member said before the group.

The group then marched through the library to the Engineering Science Building, reciting chants such as, “No more money for Israel’s crimes. Not another nickel, not another dime.”

At 12:30 p.m., the group formed a circle at the base of the Engineering Science Building, and members laid on the floor for the die-in.

“We call on students from chemical and mechanical engineering to join our movement,” an SJP member called out. “Today, we will die as an act of mourning and of solidarity with Palestine and we invite you to join us in our peaceful action strike.”

UCSB SJP did not respond to requests for comment.

A version of this article appeared on p. 3 of the Feb. 29, 2024, print edition of the Daily Nexus.


Sindhu Ananthavel
Sindhu Ananthavel (she/they) is the Lead News Editor for the 2023-24 school year. Previously, Ananthavel was the Deputy News Editor for the 2022-23 school year, the Community Outreach News Editor for the 2021-22 school year and an assistant news editor for the 2021-22 school year. She can be reached at news@dailynexus.com.