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Haifa Protests Crack The Wall Of Fear

On Monday 27 May, following yet more bloodshed in Rafah, some 300 people, Palestinians and their allies, gathered in the Prisoner Square in the historic German Colony neighborhood of downtown Haifa. Prisoner Square is the unofficial name given by protesters to a square in the middle of al-Carmel street (today Ben-Gurion street), a traditional place of gathering for Palestinian protests in the city. The square has seen many protests over the years against the various massacres and bombings in Gaza, in support of prisoners, and over local issues concerning Palestinians in Haifa such as crime. It was the focal point for the demonstrations of the Unity Intifada of 2021 and the 2013 protests against the planned expulsion of Palestinian Bedouins living in the Naqab region, and many others.

A Report On Police Misconduct During The George Floyd Protests

On May 25, 2020, Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd by kneeling on his neck for over nine minutes. Tens of millions of people took to the streets, not only in outrage, but with a fervent hope that people coming together and demanding justice would lead to safer communities for Black Americans—and for everyone. From day one of the protests, police unleashed horrors on protesters. Cops dressed in riot gear fired less-lethal weapons into crowds of unarmed civilians, sometimes within seconds of arriving at the scene. The weapons were “less-lethals” but they still resulted in gruesome, and in some cases permanent, injuries.

We Can Safeguard Democracy Without Giving In To Fear And More Policing

Elections are flashpoints for political violence. Across the country, voter intimidation and related threats have spiked in recent cycles. In one particularly extreme case — in the battleground state of Arizona — one voter was reportedly approached and followed by armed “vigilantes” dressed in tactical gear outside a drop box during the 2023 midterms. Not surprisingly, voter intimidation has become a rising fear among many voters as the U.S. heads toward elections in November. In an effort to dissolve the misinformation that drives threats and violence, some state officials have actually urged election deniers to become poll workers or official observers.

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.

BLM Activists In Grand Rapids Face Repression And Need Solidarity

In April 2022, Patrick Lyoya was murdered by police officer Christopher Schurr. His murder garnered national attention — his funeral was attended by Al Sharpton, and Lyoya’s family was represented by Ben Crump. The movement in Grand Rapids mobilized, and held a 1,000 person demonstration demanding Schurr be fired and prosecuted. In response to the movement, Christopher Schurr was fired from the Grand Rapids Police Department (GRPD) and charged with second-degree murder. However, two years have passed, and Schurr has still not gone to trial. Yet, in those two years several BLM activists have faced trumped up charges, including felony assault of a police officer.

Little Palestine Responds To NYPD’s Nakba Day Rampage In Their Community

When several thousand Palestinians and their allies gathered Saturday at the intersection of Fifth and Ovington avenues in the heart of Bay Ridge’s Little Palestine, they were greeted by legions of NYPD riot cops intent on marring the occasion. On Tuesday the event’s organizers returned to the same spot to denounce the police violence that was unleashed against them. “They come into our communities and call us outside agitators, when we know they’re the real outside agitators” said Nerdeen Kiswani, cofounder of Within Our Lifetime Palestine, the Bay Ridge-based group that led Saturday’s protest. The overbearing police presence could still be felt on Tuesday.

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.

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.

Twenty Police Departments Dismantle UCI Palestine Solidarity Encampment

Irvine, CA – At least 20 police departments besieged the University of California, Irvine Gaza solidarity encampment on May 15, as student protesters marked the anniversary of the 1948 Nakba. Earlier that morning, protesters reclaimed UCI Physical Sciences Lecture Hall and renamed it in honor of Alex Odeh, a Palestinian American activist who was assassinated in Santa Ana, California in 1985 by three members of the Jewish Defense League. Shortly after students draped banners on Alex Odeh Hall, 20 Orange County police departments swarmed the campus parking lots as UCI administration put out a call for “mutual aid.”

UPenn Students Arrested At Palestine Demo After Building Occupation

Philadelphia, PA – Nearly twenty University of Pennsylvania students and supporters were arrested after briefly occupying Fisher-Bennett Hall along 34th Street Friday night. Officers including UPenn’s Emergency Response Teams worked to shove hundreds of pro-Palestine demonstrators away from what they renamed Refaat Alareer Hall. (Alareer was a prominent Gaza professor killed by Israel late last year.) UPenn has also been a site of rallies against Ghost Robotics, an incubator spinoff company that has fast become a key world supplier of military robots including for Israel. We heard that the action was an extension of the UPenn protest encampment organizing that was swept by police action a week earlier, and was aimed at forcing UPenn to divest from companies that do business with Israel.

Unions Support Student Protestors Against Administrators And Police

As campus protests—and violent police repression—continue to roll across the country, some unions are getting involved. More than 2,700 protesters have been arrested on 64 college campuses since the initial arrests at Columbia University in New York on April 18. Encampments have appeared at 184 campuses worldwide. The protesting students are calling for full disclosure of their universities’ finances and divestment from all financial ties to weapons manufacturers and Israel’s war on Gaza. Unionized academic workers are demanding decision-making power over their work and what it’s used for. For instance, academic workers in the astronomy department of the University of California Santa Cruz have organized to refuse to apply for or accept funding from the U.S. Department of Defense, weapons manufacturers, and military contractors.

Outside Agitators: How The Power Elite Talk About Dissent

The phrases and statements used to justify police action against Columbia University students supporting Palestine are a blast from the past. The blast is not a hopeful one or one that demonstrates how far we have come as a country. Instead, it demonstrates the more things change the more they remain the same. I heard Eric Adams, Mayor of New York City, justifying police action at Columbia by citing the urgency to act because of “Outside Agitators”. These “Outside Agitators”, the rationale goes, infiltrated the student movement at Columbia and spurred them to more extreme actions. These actions would not have happened, the reasoning continues, had it not been for those “Outsiders”.

GW University Students Storm Campus With Second Encampment

Washington DC—George Washington University Students stormed back by the hundreds onto the campus streets on Thursday afternoon. They told of their experiences during a police raid the day before, and then set up a second temporary encampment of tents near the University President Ellen Granberg’s F Street Home. The student-led action came 36 hours after 32 were arrested during a predawn Wednesday morning raid on the U-Yard. The Press coverage was quarantined during the police take down of their U-Yard encampment so there is limited video of the raid. However, students described a disturbing sequence of events during the raid.

Over 130 Arrested At Gaza Solidarity Demonstration

At 1 p.m. on Tuesday, May 7, protesters set up an encampment on the Student Union South Lawn. Protesters were advocating for the University of Massachusetts to divest from war-profiteering companies involved in Israel’s bombardment of Gaza and to drop the charges of the students arrested at the Whitmore demonstration in October. As the day progressed, dozens of police officers, many in riot gear, arrived on the scene and arrested over 130 undergraduates, graduate students, professors and community members. The protest was led by the UMass chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).

Minneapolis Blocks Community Control Of Police Ballot Measure

Minneapolis, MN – Minneapolis city government placed a roadblock in front of the ballot measure to establish community control of the police, May 9. Community members say the fight will continue. Last week, the volunteer organizers delivered the signatures of over 12,000 Minneapolis residents who support putting community control of police on the ballot, through a city charter amendment to establish an all-elected Civilian Police Accountability Commission (CPAC). Today, May 9, the city clerk’s office reported to the city council that only 5445 were verified as Minneapolis registered voters, 3498 less than the number required to move their proposal to the ballot.
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