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Repression

Scott Ritter Silenced By Liberal Authoritarians

It is not difficult to be astonished these days, given how many things going on around us warrant astonishment. To pull something out of a hat at random, the Democratic apparatus has openly, brazenly politicized the judicial system—weaponized it, if you prefer—in its determination to destroy Donald Trump and now has the temerity to warn in the gravest terms that a second Trump term would mean… the politicization of American justice. Again at random, in The Washington Post’s June 7 editions George Will tells us President Biden “has provided the most progressive governance in U.S. history.” Yes, he wrote that. Give in to your astonishment.

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.”

Professor Says She Was Suspended Over Her Palestine Activism

Last month Sang Hea Kil, a justice studies professor at the San Jose State University, was placed on a temporary suspension. The school claims that Kil violated Article 17 of the collective bargaining agreement between the school and the faculty union, but she believes she was suspended over her Palestine activism. Kil stepped down as co-chair of the Palestine, Arab, and Muslim Caucus of the California Faculty after the school placed her under an investigation for allegedly disruptive activities. “i am resigning now as co-chair and from all committees in pam. it was an honor to fight side by side with you all against the tragic and painful silence around the genocide we experienced at our campuses,” said Kil.

Open Letter By Gaza Academics And University Administrators

We have come together as Palestinian academics and staff of Gaza universities to affirm our existence, the existence of our colleagues and our students, and the insistence on our future, in the face of all current attempts to erase us. The Israeli occupation forces have demolished our buildings but our universities live on. We reaffirm our collective determination to remain on our land and to resume teaching, study, and research in Gaza, at our own Palestinian universities, at the earliest opportunity. We call upon our friends and colleagues around the world to resist the ongoing campaign of scholasticide in occupied Palestine, to work alongside us in rebuilding our demolished universities, and to refuse all plans seeking to bypass, erase, or weaken the integrity of our academic institutions.

Congress Trains Academia To Deny Genocide

“Do you think Israel’s government is genocidal?” That’s the question that Rep. Bob Good, a Republican of Virginia, fired at Jonathan Holloway, president of Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey, last week in a U.S. House committee hearing. Holloway, a scholar of African American history who has been steadily climbing the ladder of administrative positions at top-tier schools, looked stunned. “Um sir, I don’t … have an opinion on Israel’s um …in terms of that phrase.” Good: “You do not have an opinion as to whether Israel’s government is genocidal?” Holloway: “Uh, no sir, I think Israel has a right to exist and protect itself.” Good: “Do you think Israel’s government is genocidal?” Holloway: “I think Israel has a right to exist and protect itself, sir.”

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.

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.

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.

University Of California Student Workers Begin Historic Political Strike

On May 20, University of California (UC) student and postdoc workers at the Santa Cruz campus began a historic strike against the repression of the student movement. UAW 4811, which represents over 48,000 workers, voted last week to authorize a strike in response to intense repression unleashed against students and faculty protesting for Palestine. Administrators at several University of California campuses invited in the police, who violently arrested and injured students, faculty, and staff. Many workers and students across the UC system also face disciplinary action from their universities, including suspension.

The Billionaires And Establishment Officials Unleashing Violence

It has been weeks since the brutal state repression and right-wing violence unleashed against some of the most prominent Gaza Solidarity Encampments, including the encampments at the University of California – Los Angeles and Columbia University. Since then, independent reporting has uncovered disturbing links between extreme-right counterprotesters and billionaire donors, as well as collusion between city officials and police conducting violent repression. At UCLA, Zionist counterprotesters conducted several rounds of attacks against the Gaza Solidarity Encampment. Student organizers reported counterprotesters releasing bags of mice injected with an unknown substance, as well as cockroaches.

How UC Researchers Began Saying No To Military Work

Our union of 48,000 academic workers has just authorized a strike over the University of California’s unfair labor practices in repressing peaceful protest, retaliating against members for protesting, and prohibiting pro-Palestine speech at the worksite. United Auto Workers Local 4811 announced the results yesterday: with nearly 20,000 members voting, 79 percent voted yes. Part of the groundwork behind this vote and informing the potential strike is the organizing we have done over the past several months in our science departments—as researchers who are no longer willing to support genocide with our labor.

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.

Columbia Students Vs The State

Hundreds of college student encampments across the country against the U.S.-Israeli genocide in Gaza have now spread to Europe, South America and the world. The acts of mass solidarity have seized the frontpages of mainstream tabloids for almost a month now. It all started on Wednesday March 17th at my alma mater, Columbia University, thanks to the leadership and solidarity of hundreds of student and faculty leaders. Mayor Eric Adam’s impressive squandering of our taxpayer money to harass and repress peaceful student protests will not soon be forgotten by voters. I was one of the alumni and professors arrested for opposing this disgraceful holocaust of human life in Gaza.
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