Statement of Patricia Campos-Medina on Student-Led Peace Protest on College Campuses:

May 2, 2024 | Press Release

Remarks of Patricia Campos-Medina at Princeton Student Encampment during May Day International Workers Day March 

Student activism follows a rich American tradition of students protesting war and demanding peace. As a survivor of the brutal civil war in El Salvador, I know firsthand that it was the courage of thousands of American students who protested the Reagan Administration’s support of the oppressive military regimes in El Salvador and Central America in the 1980s and early 1990s that allowed many Central Americans and me the opportunity to survive that terrible war. 

In every generation, it is young people who remind us of our moral responsibility to fight for peace and to protect children, women, and the civilian population in times of war. I salute you and all the courageous students protesting on college campuses across the United States calling for peace in the Middle East. Your voices are demanding more accountability from the government of Israel, an end to violations of human rights, and an end to the ongoing humanitarian crisis facing the people of Gaza.

From the start of my campaign for US Senate, I have called for an immediate and permanent ceasefire in Gaza, the return of all hostages, and the protection of civilians during times of war. I stand with Sen. Bernie Sanders as he calls for accountability from the Government of Israel and against the Netanyahu regime’s war policies that are creating an unsustainable humanitarian crisis in Gaza and will lead to even more suffering and a long war in the Middle East.

America’s most sacred tenet of our Democracy is freedom of speech. Nowhere is that sacred promise more vital than protesting war. 

As a union member of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP-AFT), I stand in clear defense of academic freedom and maintaining college campuses as places of learning, respectful exchange of ideas, and safety for all students. 

I also stand in opposition to all forms of Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, Asian Hate, and racist attacks of any kind against any students who exercise the right to protest. Hate cannot bring peace.  

Attacks on the academic freedom of faculty who support students in their exchange of ideas, as well as right-wing demands from the US Congress that college administrators squash protest are anathema to freedom of speech. We must reject it.

I am proud of my life of activism, beginning with my participation in the Day Hall Takeover at Cornell University in 1993, the anti-Iraq war protest of 2003, and the many actions and protests in support of labor and immigrant workers’ rights.

As a candidate for US Senate, and as a public servant, I will always protect our right to freedom of speech and protest as it makes our Democracy stronger when we are able to disagree and find solutions that uphold peace and our humanity.

To learn more about Patricia Campos-Medina’s campaign and our commitment to working families, visit