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Campus Movement

UC Santa Cruz Chancellor Unleashes Police Mayhem Against Students

Before midnight on May 30, 2024, police officers from across California descended on the Gaza Solidarity encampment at UC Santa Cruz. Numbering in the few hundreds, police from the UC Santa Cruz, UC San Francisco, UC Davis, UC Riverside, as well as San Jose, San Bruno, San Mateo, Daly City, Pacifica, South San Francisco, Santa Clara, and Watsonville police departments, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office, and the California Highway Patrol responded to a request, authorized by UCSC Chancellor Cynthia Larive, for “mutual aid.” What ensued was a brutal multi-agency assault by CHP and other police against unarmed protesters that lasted for nine hours and resulted in significant injuries.

Detroit’s Wayne State University Encampment Shut Down By Police

After seven full days of an encampment at the center of Wayne State University in Detroit, campus police raided and removed the encampment which has demanded the complete divestment from corporations which have interests in the State of Israel. The encampment began with a demonstration on Thursday May 23 starting on Woodward Avenue and West Warren, which is the location of the WSU Welcome Center. Hundreds of students, faculty and community members then marched to the campus where the encampment was constructed right across from the Undergraduate Library (UGL).

Students, Gaza And A New Vision Of Safety

The sign hanging over the student encampment at Chicago’s DePaul University bore a slogan that has echoed through almost all of the justice movements over the past several years: ​“We Keep Us Safe.” The tents beneath it fragile, just a thin layer of canvas between the students and the rest of the world. A statement of purpose and of solidarity; a reminder of the tents so many Palestinians in Gaza are living in right now as they move, and move again, and move again from homes destroyed by U.S.-made bombs delivered by Israeli planes into supposed safe zones. But is there a safe zone when its safety is declared by the people who have declared war on you?

Corporate Media Push Conspiracy Theories To Discredit Students

Across corporate media, journalists and pundits introduced conspiracy theories to discredit the pro-Palestine student protest movement, particularly that they are funded by foreign countries or “outside agitators.” MSNBC‘s Joe Scarborough (5/9/24) went on a rant about the college students who have been staging the protests, suggesting to guest Hillary Clinton that they were influenced by China or Qatar: I’m going to talk about radicalism on college campuses. The sort of radicalism that has mainstream students getting propaganda, whether it’s from their professors or whether it’s from Communist Chinese government through TikTok, calling the president of the United States “Genocide Joe.” Calling you and President Clinton war criminals. Eventually, he called the students “extremists—I’m sorry—funded by Qatar.”

Lessons From The Wayne State University Encampment

Amid the latest military offensive in Rafah, the movement in solidarity with Palestine has remained active. Students across the country have been at the vanguard, setting up encampments and demanding that their universities divest from the Israeli war machine. The response from university administrations has been repression so intense that it has sparked broad outrage and condemnation because of its chilling effect on the right to protest and dissent. The intense crackdowns have led sectors of the movement to take up the issue of repression as a central part of the fight for Palestine.

Pro-Palestinian Protesters Re-Establish An Encampment

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - At least 200 Pro-Palestinian protesters gathered outside of the Cathedral of Learning lawn on Sunday evening to re-establish a “Palestine solidarity encampment.” At least one person was arrested. This comes over a month after the previous “Gaza solidarity encampment,” which saw a large group of protesters set up camp in Schenley Park for nearly a week. The protests began at the Cathedral lawn around 5:30 p.m. on Sunday evening. The protestors set up wooden barricades and fences to block police from entering the encampment. As the evening went on, more protesters joined the initial group.

UAW Local 4811’s Stand-Up Strike Grows By 12,000

Twelve thousand academic workers at UCLA and UC Davis are poised to walk off the job Tuesday morning as part of an historic strike in solidarity with Palestine. The workers — 6,400 at the University of California, Los Angeles and 5,700 at the University of California, Davis — are members of United Auto Workers Local 4811, which represents 48,000 academic workers across the University of California (UC) system. “We’re taking this … unprecedented action because of the university’s serious, unfair labor practices (ULP), which really go to the heart of our rights for freedom of speech and protest, and the ability to take collective action,” Local 4811 President Rafael Jaime told In These Times ahead of Tuesday’s walkout.

Call To Action: The ICSGP Denounces Israel’s Brutal Attacks On Rafah

The International Coalition to Stop Genocide in Palestine (ICSGP) abhors the brutal slaughter in recent days by the Israeli Occupation Forces of displaced Palestinians who had been living in tents in Rafah. This is a flagrant violation of the International Court of Justice’s May 24 order, at the request of South Africa, that Israel cease its operations there. Coming after nearly eight months of genocidal attacks, including induced famine, these massacres leave no room for doubt about Israel’s intent to wipe out the population of Gaza, even as it has intensified genocidal attacks in the West Bank. 

The ‘Blurred Lines’ Of Columbia’s Task Force On Anti-Semitism

On May 16, as Columbia University’s Spring semester ended, the school newspaper published an Op-Ed from the “Task Force on Anti-Semitism” appointed by President Minouche Shafik last November. The Task Force, made up of pro-Israel faculty, announced at its inception its goal of making “ambitious changes” to the University’s “policies, rules, and practices,” and has already released one report supporting increased restrictions on student protests. While it has made a point of refusing to define what it means by “antisemitism,” its latest communication indicates that Columbia faculty and students critical of Israel and Zionism may well be in real danger should the Task Force deliver on its currently-stated goals.

University Of California Workers On Strike For Right To Protest For Gaza

On May 28, 12,000 student workers organized under United Auto Workers Local 4811, working at the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA) and UC Davis joined 2,000 union members already on strike at UC Santa Cruz. Workers representing United Auto Workers Local 4811 received a standing ovation at the People’s Conference for Palestine this past weekend, in honor of the union local taking the bold step in leading the first ever strike in US history in relation to Palestine solidarity. At the panel entitled “The Role of Labor Unions in the Palestinian Struggle,” workers received a standing ovation and chants of “UC, UC hear our call! 4811 will strike you all!”

Union Power Can Change Campus Protests Forever

Strikes are different from protests. Though protesters frequently say that they are making ​“demands,” it is more accurate to say they are making requests. Protests rely on persuasion. Their persuasion may be gentle, or it may be aggressive. It may rely on moral shaming to get its point across, or it may rely on the elevation of awareness, or it may rely on the pure intimidation of numbers. But protests, for all of their righteous fury and necessity, lack the legal ability to shut things down until change is achieved. Strikers, on the other hand, can truly make demands. Their proposition is simple: No work will get done until a change is made.

Police Make First Arrest For Assault On Pro-Palestine Protesters At UCLA

University of California, Los Angeles police on Thursday made their first arrest in the case of a violent mob attack on protestors at a peaceful pro-Palestine encampment at the university on April 30 and May 1. The police charged Edan On, an 18-year-old high school senior, with felony assault for attacking at least one person with a wooden pole. He was remanded to a Los Angeles jail, where he’s being held on a $30,000 bond, according to The Guardian. On was first identified for his role in the mob attack, led by so-called counterprotestors, in a CNN investigation published May 16. “Video shows On joining the counterprotesters while waving a long white pole,” CNN reported.

Gaza Encampments Have Spread Across The United Kingdom

I’m an American PhD student here at Oxford and it’s been very interesting talking to U.S. universities, coordinating with U.S. universities, and thinking about how to make our actions in the UK as effective as possible. We put our encampment up here at Oxford at the same time as Cambridge, on May 6th. The momentum is tremendous and the coalition that we built at this university is absolutely unprecedented. We’re also facing repression, but the difference between here and the U.S. is that that U.S. repression is far more visible, the violence is far more visible. Here, especially at places like Oxford which are such unchanging institutions for centuries, the way that they are trying to to battle us is much different. So far that’s largely meant doing strategic gymnastics to avoid us.

Drexel Students Set Up Palestine Encampment, Call For Divestment

Philadelphia, PA — Students at Drexel University established an encampment in support of divesting from Israel on May 18, following a rainy Nakba Day commemoration march from Center City that started around 4 p.m. Philadelphia and Drexel police officers quickly surrounded the encampment with a ring of metal barricades and largely barred additional people from entering; this was apparently at the orders of Drexel’s campus police chief. There was a brief struggle over the metal barricade components, and at one point an officer brandished a Taser at the crowd but was pulled back by another, shortly after our reporters got onsite. As of late Monday the encampment was still in place.

The Threat Of Democracy On Campus At The University Of Massachusetts

Before arriving at UMass Amherst last fall, Chancellor Javier Reyes was already notorious for his cavalier approach to critics. But few foresaw what he did on May 7. Earlier that day, organizers from a coalition of campus solidarity groups had erected tents on a small section of the lawn by W.E.B. Du Bois Library. Like virtually all the recent encampments in this country, there was no hint of violence from the campers. It was the latest tactic in a seven-month campaign to end UMass’s complicity with the US-Israeli war on Gaza. The organizers had four demands: that UMass disclose its financial ties to weapons makers and corporations with links to Israel, that it divest from those corporations, that it end study abroad programs in Israel, and that it drop all charges and sanctions against the students arrested in a peaceful building occupation last October.
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