'Stop the Genocide' Banner Unfurled on El Capitan

Climbers With Palestine group says of Yosemite protest: 'We need to stop killing people, today'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2024 8:09 AM CDT

Pro-Palestinian protests over the Israel-Hamas war that have proliferated on college campuses have now made their way into the national parks. SFGate reports that four climbers stopped partway up Yosemite's El Capitan on Monday—not to rest, but to unfurl a 25-by-15-foot banner in the colors of the Palestinian flag that read "Stop the Genocide" (check out a photo here). The outlet notes that the group from the grassroot Climbers With Palestine stayed with the banner overnight into Tuesday to ensure no one would be imperiled by it, then started making their way down that afternoon.

Climbing Magazine IDs the four mountaineers as Miranda Oakley, Alix Morris, Alexa Flower, and Henry Whittaker. They erected the banner about halfway up the 3,000-foot-long "Nose" route of El Capitan. "Martin Luther nailed his theses on the church door," Climbers With Palestine co-founder Emily Weinstein tells SFGATE. "We nailed our message to the most iconic bulletin board for the world's rock climbers." Weinstein, who's Jewish, established the California-based group with Oakley, a Palestinian American climbing guide, to support "equal rights in Palestine/Israel and around the world," per a recent Instagram post.

Weinstein notes that Yosemite does bar advertising, but she doesn't think that's what her group is guilty of. "This is not an advertisement," she tells SFGATE. "This is exercising our rights for freedom of speech as Americans." Morris tells Climbing that the group had debated which message to put on the banner, and that ultimately "we chose this wording because it's unmistakable what we're trying to say. It's powerful. It's simple. It's poignant. We need to stop killing people, today." It's not clear if the group will face any repercussions from the park, which hadn't received advance notice of their protest. (More El Capitan stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.