Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Gallery

Students Rise Up To Defend US Flag From Protesters

This article was originally published at StateOfUnion.org. Publications approved for syndication have permission to republish this article, such as Microsoft News, Yahoo News, Newsbreak, UltimateNewswire and others. To learn more about syndication opportunities, visit About Us.
University of North Carolina

Individuals nationwide have rallied in support of students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who mobilized to defend a prominent American flag on campus that became the focal point of pro-Palestinian student demonstrations.

GoFundMe campaign

A GoFundMe campaign was initiated to commend fraternity members who safeguarded the flag, raising over $500,000 to acknowledge the students’ patriotism, as stated on the fundraising page.

Fraternity

Members of the fraternity, in conversations with USA TODAY, expressed their intention to utilize any funds received to assist charities that align with their beliefs, particularly those supporting Israel.

Protesters

Pro-Palestinian student protesters on campus eve replaced the American flag with a Palestinian flag. Subsequently, campus police reinstated the American flag, following which approximately 30 counter-protesters, including members of the Jewish fraternity Alpha Epsilon Pi, united to protect it for several hours, as recounted by fraternity members.

United

“We’re supposed to be united in our political beliefs under that flag, no matter what we believe,” Brendan Rosenblum, a member of Alpha Epsilon Pi, told USA TODAY.

Arrested

According to the Daily Tar Heel, six students at the Chapel Hill campus were arrested on Tuesday, prompting the university administration to cancel afternoon classes. Lan, a member of Alpha Epsilon Pi, emphasized that he took a stand to defend the American flag because it symbolizes the principles enshrined in the First Amendment.

Legal right

“They have a right to protest, it’s a legal right under our Constitution, and the American flag is tied in with that,” said Lan. “We wanted to ensure that the American flag wasn’t once again taken down.” The individual behind the GoFundMe campaign commended the fraternity members and urged online contributors to support them in hosting a lively celebration called a “rager.”

Deserve the best

The GoFundMe’s organizer, John Noonan, wrote, “These boys… no, men, of the UNC Chapel Hill Pi Kappa Phi, gave the best to America and now they deserve the best.”

Support Israel

The national chapter of Pi Kappa Phi and the international chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi both stated that the funds from the GoFundMe campaign should be given to charity. John Piece, the spokesperson for the international chapter of Alpha Epsilon Pi, mentioned to USA TODAY that any funds received by their organization could be used to support Israel.

Very proud

However, he clarified that his group did not officially support the creation of the GoFundMe campaign. “AEPi international is very proud of our chapter,” Pierce said. “If there’s money that comes to AEPi international, we’ll donate it to our international philanthropies, which are Jewish and Israeli causes.”

Pi Kappa Phi

The National Council of Pi Kappa Phi, one of the fraternities involved in the GoFundMe campaign, stated in an online announcement that the funds collected should be directed towards charitable causes once the UNC chapter receives them. Maureen Walker, the marketing officer of the organization, cited this statement in her response to a comment request. “We, along with our student members, believe the right use for these funds is to support charitable endeavors if these funds are received,” the national chapter’s statement said.

Peaceful public discourse

The national council further clarified that they will not be receiving any portion of the funds allocated to the local fraternity and did not support the initiation of the GoFundMe campaign. They emphasized that the demonstrations that occurred at UNC on Tuesday were deemed as a significant aspect of campus dialogue, as stated by the national council. “These members displayed their values alongside other members of their community. Pi Kappa Phi respects the right of our members to participate in civil, peaceful public discourse,” the statement says.

Mitchell Meyer

Mitchell Meyer, a member of Alpha Epsilon Pi, mentioned that several fraternities at UNC have been in contact with the organizer of the GoFundMe campaign, and they are currently working on determining the distribution of the funds. As of Friday, it remains uncertain how and when the funds will be allocated, according to Meyer.

Tense confrontations

The events that unfolded at UNC on Tuesday marked one of several tense confrontations between student demonstrators and law enforcement on university campuses. Rosenblum recounted instances where pro-Palestinian students hurled plastic water bottles at him, while Trevor Lan, a freshman from Charlotte, North Carolina, witnessed police deploying pepper spray against protesters.

All the fraternities

“All the fraternities involved are working with them to come up with something everyone is happy with,” Meyer, a sophomore, told USA TODAY.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Trending