HUNTSVILLE — Pro-Palestine speakers filled the public speaking portion of Huntsville's City Council meeting on Thursday night.

Some came only to speak on the Israel-Palestine issue alone. Others were also supporters of Read Freely Alabama, an organization that has spoken several times in opposition to moving books in libraries that may be graphic or contain sexually explicit material.

As each Palestine supporter came up to the podium to speak, the same issue was continuously brought up, each claiming that Israel was committing genocide against the people of Gaza. Some even went on to say that it had been occurring for 75 years since the creation of the Jewish state.

One speaker who usually supports Read Freely, Dr. Marisa Allison, a sociology professor, said she had taught thousands of students at institutions in Alabama and across the South about how institutions and even city councils work and how inequality manifests in those institutions.

She went on to praise and call the students noble for doing what she said was going on at 40 universities like Columbia, Yale and others where students have set up encampments on their college campuses protesting Israel's war on Hamas in Gaza.

A city official speaking to 1819 News pointed out that one issue these speakers failed to mention that is occurring on these college campuses is the open antisemitism going on. At some universities, Jewish students are told to remain home for their own safety; at others, like Columbia University, classes have been canceled for the remainder of the school year and are to be completed online.

Additionally, there was no mention of the hostages currently being held by Hamas in Gaza, six of whom are Americans.

Fear of these types of protests spreading to Huntsville's college campuses and across Alabama was also mentioned. The Student Government Association at the University of Alabama at Birmingham has already passed a resolution condemning Israel.

SEE ALSO: UAB SGA resolution condemns Israel for apartheid, ethnic cleansing, 'plausible genocide'

One local state official mentioned his fear of these protests spreading to local universities and others in Alabama. He blamed the issue on far-left activist professors employed at universities in Huntsville, across Alabama and the nation, saying they act as catalysts for these protests.

On Friday, the Democratic Socialists of North Alabama posted about attending the council meeting, thanking those "who went out to Huntsville city council last night to end their complicity in the genocide in Palestine."

While Huntsville has already seen a few pro-Palestinian protests, these protests have not been violent in nature, and the city hopes that if any more do occur, they will remain that way from now on.

To connect with the author of this story or to comment, email or on Twitter @BradleyCoxAL.

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