In a fiery discussion at the Resource Center for Nonviolence, local residents called for Israel's immediate withdraw from the Gaza strip. Stephen Zunes, a professor of politics at the University of San Francisco, began the packed event by denouncing Israel's most recent invasion of the strip calling it "an illegal war by any number of international laws."
He called for Israel to stand down, and to stop their occupation of the territory, which he referred to as a "big, open-air prison."
"We've won on this before, and we're going to win again," Zunes said referring to convincing Israel to stop their invasion. "This is about human rights."
After the lecture, the group watched "Dispatches: The Killing Zone," a 2006 British report detailing the stark life of Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip.
Since Israel invaded the Gaza Strip two weeks ago, the Palestinian death toll has reached 831, many of them women and children. Over 3,000 residents have been injured. Israel has reported 13 deaths.
After the film, residents voiced shock and awe at the devastation being reported in the strip.
"In Rafah, an ordinary day is a day of war," said Sami Abed, the co-founder of the Palestinian-Israel Action Committee of Santa Cruz.
The 15-day war has been met with widespread criticism across the world and the UN Security Council has passed a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire. Both Israel and Hamas have ignored repeated calls for a ceasefire.
Zunes ended his talk with an ominous warning of the coming days of the war. Though communication from the Gaza Strip will dwindle as the Israeli army continues their battering, "don't confuse silence for peace."