Dozens of pro-Palestine protesters gathered at Lincoln Park and took over Ocean Boulevard as they marched to the nearby Cal State University chancellor’s office Tuesday morning.

The demonstration was part of an ongoing statewide push from organizers demanding the CSU system divest from Israel and any weapons manufacturers or other companies profiting off of the war in Gaza.

“We do not accept our tuition dollars being used in that way,” said Amy Parker, a Cal State Fullerton student.

As the group of about 100 protesters took over the street, a small police presence arrived with officers warning over a loudspeaker that people would be arrested if they remained in the roadway.

About one hundred Pro-Palestinian protesters walk toward the CSU chancellor’s after gathering at Lincoln Park in Long Beach, Tuesday, May 21, 2024. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

After the short walk to the chancellor’s office, protesters chanted “free Palestine” and “we will not rest until divest” outside the building at 401 Golden Shore.

The group, called the CSU Student Divestment Coalition, is also pressing the university system to “declare publicly that Israel is engaging in genocide, ethnic cleansing and settler-colonialism.” Tens of thousands of Gazans have been killed — many of them women and children — and nearly 2 million displaced by the Israeli military’s offensive launched in response to Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack.

The CSU chancellor’s office has so far rebuffed the protesters’ demands, saying last month that the college system “does not intend to alter existing investment policies related to Israel or the Israel-Hamas conflict.”

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A statement last month from the chancellor’s office said the CSU invests in mutual funds and bonds — not specific companies — and that they “provide a stable revenue stream” that benefits campuses.

Students have kept the pressure on with demonstrations and encampments at some universities, including one at Sonoma State, where the campus president initially agreed to meet some of the demands earlier this month.

President Mike Lee said he would pursue divestment and an academic boycott of Israel, according to Politico, but that promise was short-lived, with CSU Chancellor Mildred García​ swiftly putting Lee on leave, saying his statement on the plan, did not have “the appropriate approvals.”

Two protesters use megaphones as they lead the march along Ocean Boulevard in Long Beach, Tuesday, May 21, 2024. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.

Lee’s initial message about divestment also drew swift criticism from statewide figures like State Sen. Scott Wiener, who co-chairs the California Legislature’s Jewish Caucus.

In a Post on X, Wiener said the divestment movement’s goal “is the destruction of Israel, home to 7M Jews.”

The protesters in Long Beach planned to continue their rally at a CSU Board of Trustees meeting scheduled for most of the day Tuesday.

“We urge both Chancellor Garcia and the Board of Trustees to listen to, negotiate and work with their students and recognize their demands through action and policy change,” the CSU Student Divestment Coalition said in a statement. “Should they find that they are unable to do this, we call for them to immediately resign from their positions.”

Jeremiah Dobruck is managing editor of the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @jeremiahdobruck on Twitter.