Solidarity with Ferguson: NSJP Condemns Police Violence


National Students for Justice in Palestine

August 18, 2014
For Immediate Release
National Students for Justice in Palestine in Solidarity with Ferguson

As the steering committee of National Students for Justice in Palestine, we express our condolences and solidarity with those affected by the killing of Mike Brown, and condemn police violence throughout the United States. We are students of all backgrounds from every region of the nation, who are committed to combating all forms of supremacy, racism and discrimination in our solidarity work to support human rights, self-determination and liberation of Palestinian land and life.

No community should have to endure what the black community has endured in America, let alone still suffer at the hands of oppressive institutions that police blackness and impose guilt without reason. The lives of young black folks should not be dehumanized by those who are meant to serve our communities. The history of police and watch groups in the United States indicates that the protection of black lives has never been a serious concern. The legacies of this history have seen black people controlled, beaten, unfairly and disproportionately incarcerated, repressed while protesting and killed. Justice, transparency and accountability remain delayed.

Therefore, we wholeheartedly stand in solidarity with the black community. Militarized and violent police tactics in present-day America have laid too many young black souls to rest. Black people have suffered at the hands of white supremacist racist violence since before America’s founding. The legacy of institutional injustice has persisted for far too long, and is time for it to change.

We’ve been inspired by the activism that has taken place throughout the nation in response to Mike Brown’s death. At rallies and vigils, we’ve heard critical words that stressed the work we have cut out for us all. Through social media, we shared the injustice in Ferguson, and now, we follow the black community towards challenging militarized policing, improving police accountability, and eliminating anti-black racism.

We stand alongside the black community and pledge our ongoing efforts to end such injustices. It is our moral obligation to contribute all that we can to aid our black sisters and brothers in solidarity. Our struggles are connected, underscored by the unified police trainings between St. Louis County Police and the Israeli Defense Forces. This has eliminated any delineation between local and military tactics. Tear gas, MRAPs, rubber bullets and flashbang grenades do not belong in communities of color. Drones and “no fly-zones” should not exist in Ferguson nor over occupied Palestinian land. Police do not need assault rifles and military grade weapons to protect and serve US citizens. We will be safest when our communities are safe from violence and discrimination at the hands of the state.

We want to fight for a greater justice that empowers us all, and breaks down police militarism, Zionism, and white supremacist racism through mutual love and respect . Injustice against black people is not just a Black issue. Injustice against Palestinian people is not just a Palestinian issue. These are human issues that should concern us all. Only through perceiving the interconnectedness of our struggles, can we unite and empower ourselves and our vision for a better world that does not dehumanize Black people, Palestinians, or anyone.

Solidarity with Anakbayan and Fillipino Activists Resisting Militarism

As Students for Justice in Palestine, a group in solidarity with oppressed people around the world, we strongly condemn the murders of Filipino youth activist and Anakbayan member Freddie Ligiw, his father Licuben, and his brother Eddie by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). We understand that the Filipino military likely played an active role in these murders, thanks to weapons and joint training provided by the United States. The murders of Saji, Freddie, and his family members are part of an ongoing global attack on oppressed peoples who are fighting to live. This violence stems from the United States’ broader imperialist agenda that funds repression of dissenters in the Philippines and Palestine through military aid.

From Palestine to the Philippines to the United States, youth activists are actively challenging militarism in the face of heavy repression. We write this statement near the 11th anniversary of Israel’s murder of American student-activist Rachel Corrie by an American-made Caterpillar bulldozer in Gaza. Earlier this month, Saji Darwish, a Palestinian student from Birzeit University, was shot in the head and killed by the Israeli Occupation Forces.

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NSJP Statement of Thanks and Solidarity with the Loyola Chicago Student Government

Dear members of the Loyola University Chicago Unified Student Government Association,

On Tuesday, March 18, Loyola University’s Unified Student Government Association (USGA) passed a resolution to divest from corporations that profit from Israel’s occupation and oppression of the Palestinian people. As the steering committee of National Students for Justice in Palestine, we write to express our support of the resolution and our appreciation for your courage.

As students, we recognize the incredible role that student movements have played in supporting so many struggles for civil rights, human rights, and liberation around the world throughout history. We are inspired by historic student movements in this country, such as the movement to divest from South African Apartheid as well as contemporary fights that our peers are waging against the criminalization of people along the US/Mexico border and against inhumane policies of mass incarceration within the US. A beautiful part of our national movement as well as SJP Loyola’s local membership is the diversity of communities working together on interconnected struggles towards a better world. We commend you for taking an important step in this legacy of student action.

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Lessons for Liberty: A Century of Palestine Student Organizing in the US

Opening Plenary of the 2013 SJP-National Conference, ‘From Margin to Center: Connecting Struggles, Forging a National Movement’ with Loubna Qutami & Mezna Qato.

In the everyday urgencies of student mobilizations, and in our celebration of the tremendous successes of BDS campaigns across the country, we have scarce opportunity to acquaint ourselves with the histories of our national movement, and in particular the storied role of students within it. How have those who forged paths before us carried their responsibilities in this exhausting, extraordinary, remarkable, anti-colonial struggle? What can we learn from the strategies and tactics they crafted, and the principles and politics they upheld? As we continue to build on our campaign successes, what does this knowledge of our past require of us? Retrieving often forgotten episodes spanning the last one hundred years of student organizing for Palestine in the US, this talk hopes to open up conversation on how we, both Palestinians and allies, can contribute to the re-generation of Palestinian emancipatory spirit, the restoring our body politic and the reclaiming our popular sovereignty and liberation movement. Our struggle began with students, and it is only when students seize their revolutionary responsibility and take a lead in bringing together the energies, voices, talents, and strengths, of all Palestinians, will we begin to walk, together, the path towards liberation and return.

NSJP Statement of Thanks and Solidarity with the American Studies Association

To sign on as a student group, please fill out this form – http://bit.ly/1cJnYCR

On Monday morning, the National Council of the American Studies Association announced that its membership had voted – by a thundering two-thirds majority – to support the Palestinian call for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

As members of the student movement, we thank the members of the ASA for this important contribution to the struggle, and for their bravery and integrity. We stand united with them in this decision, and in support of the principles and vision it represents.

We know that pressure on the ASA at this moment is overwhelming. And through our own efforts, we are all too familiar with organized initiatives that aim to misrepresent and silence the movement for justice in Palestine. Thanks to the ASA’s resolution, we are ever more strengthened in our resistance to these efforts.

We know that many are eager to accuse the professors who endorsed this boycott of violating academic freedom and the right to free inquiry. We categorically reject such accusations. We know that the Palestinian call for academic boycott has been made with care and caution by the Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, and that it differs from the academic boycott against the brutal racial capitalism of South Africa – the apartheid system.

PACBI calls for the institutional boycott of Israeli universities. Not the boycott of individuals. For that reason it does not infringe on the rights of individual Israeli scholars. Rather, it recognizes that rights are interlocking. Indeed, Israeli scholars have every right to research as they wish. What they may not do is officially represent their universities, or use their legitimate intellectual pursuits to veil the widely acknowledged complicity of the entire Israeli educational system in the regime of settler-colonialism that crushes the Palestinian people.

We hear the clear voices of our fellow students and teachers in Palestine and in the refugee camps of its neighbors. Their demand is not for charity. Nor does it exceptionalize Israel. Rather, the demand is that we take responsibility for what is occurring in Palestine into our own hands – that we refuse links with the universities that are part-and-parcel of the repressive apparatus, for it is those universities which develop counter-insurgency techniques, weapons, separation walls, and false narratives, all of the machinery the state deploys in its ongoing violence against Palestinians.

Far from stifling academic freedom, the ASA’s action shows that scholars in the United States can have honest and nuanced conversations about Israeli control of Palestinians, Palestinian liberation, and the role of the United States and its learning institutions in shaping consensus on both. We are increasingly confident in our knowledge that Palestine is no longer an issue the American academy is afraid to confront.

The ASA’s resolution is particularly significant for our collective understanding of the past and present of the United States within its borders and throughout the world. It is a refreshing echo of our revolutionary vision, for our movement cannot be divorced from the global capitalist conditions that affect all our lives. As students facing economic and intellectual attacks on our universities, our support for the Palestinian struggle is simultaneously a demand for justice at home – for our education, and for historical justice, not amnesia.

And we are proud of our professors for refusing to ignore the crimes of Israel. We are honored by their refusal to cover their ears, instead allowing the demands of Palestinians resisting occupation and colonialism to reach their minds and hearts. We salute them for adopting the more difficult and just path. Most of all, we are proud to stand alongside them in declaring that what is occurring in Palestine with our tax dollars will not continue with our idle complicity.

We know that supporters of Israeli racism are unnerved, and that they are lashing out at those who have gone out of their way to insist that a politically neutral academic freedom is a myth; that the right to inquire is nested amidst other freedoms – and that what Israel denies Palestinians is the right to have rights.

The members of the ASA have done something remarkable this week. They have opened a space for discussing and resisting Israeli crimes that did not exist before. There are those desperate to close that space. We urge our comrades, mentors, and teachers to remain steadfast amidst the pressure they face, for we are behind and among you. In the spirit of Audre Lorde: “without community, there is no liberation.” If all of us stand together, we are unmovable.

Thank you for your courage.

Ad Hoc Steering Committee, Students for Justice in Palestine – National

Harvard Palestine Solidarity Committee
Health Awareness Club – City University of New York, Brooklyn College
Louisville Students for Justice in Palestine – University of Kentucky
Movimiento Estudiantil Chican@ de Aztlán – University of California, San Diego
Michigan Women of Color Collective (M-WOCC) – University of Michigan
Right 2 Education Campaign – Birzeit University
Stanford University Students for Palestinian Equal Rights
Students Against Israeli Apartheid – George Mason University
Students Allied for Freedom and Equality- University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Students for Justice in Palestine – American University
Students for Justice in Palestine – Antioch University
Students for Justice in Palestine – Binghamton University
Students for Justice in Palestine – Boston College
Students for Justice in Palestine – Bowdoin College
Students for Justice in Palestine – Brooklyn College
Students for Justice in Palestine – Brown University
Students for Justice in Palestine – California State University, Fullerton
Students for Justice in Palestine – City University of New York, School of Law
Students for Justice in Palestine – City University of New York, Staten Island
Students for Justice in Palestine – Cornell University
Students for Justice in Palestine – Depaul University
Students for Justice in Palestine – Drew University, New Jersey
Students for Justice in Palestine – Evergreen State College
Students for Justice in Palestine – Florida Atlantic University
Students for Justice in Palestine – Florida International University
Students for Justice in Palestine – Fort Wayne, Florida
Students for Justice in Palestine – George Washington University
Students for Justice in Palestine – Ithaca College
Students for Justice in Palestine – John Hopkins University
Students for Justice in Palestine – Loyola Marymount University
Students for Justice in Palestine – Loyola University, Chicago
Students for Justice in Palestine – Northwestern University
Students for Justice in Palestine – Rutgers, Newark
Students for Justice in Palestine – San Diego State University
Students for Justice in Palestine – University of California – Berkeley
Students for Justice in Palestine – University of California, Irvine
Students for Justice in Palestine – University of California, Los Angeles
Students for Justice in Palestine – University of California, Riverside
Students for Justice in Palestine – University of Florida
Students for Justice in Palestine – University of Maryland
Students for Justice in Palestine – University of New Mexico
Students for Justice in Palestine – University of Southern California
Students for Justice in Palestine – University of Toledo, Ohio
Students for Justice in Palestine – Yale University
Stanford Students for Palestinian Equal Rights – Stanford University

[Student groups can sign on by filling out this form - http://bit.ly/1cJnYCR ]

Students Support the American Studies Association Boycott Resolution

Contact CornellS4JP [at] gmail.com if your student group would like to sign on.

Dear Curtis Marez, Lisa Duggan, Matthew Jacobson, and John Stephens:

As nationwide chapters of SJP, we write to give our unqualified endorsement of the ASA resolution in support of the Academic Boycott. In so doing, we stand in solidarity with the call from Palestinian civil society to put in place an institutional boycott of Israeli universities and other academic centers to protest the ongoing belligerent occupation of Palestine, and the systemic infringements of the rights to education and academic freedom of Palestinian students and scholars in the West Bank, Gaza, and Israel.

We are deeply aware of the concert of colonial and imperial interests which has led to over 130 years of Zionist colonization of Palestinian lands. We know that the Palestinians – as with so many other peoples – are still reckoning with the brutal legacy of North Atlantic capitalism’s restless drive to dominate the planet. And so we see the Palestinian struggle for national liberation as part of the larger struggle for self-determination by the peoples of the global South as they have sought to break free of the fetters of European colonialism and US imperialism.

As students, we acknowledge and pay homage to the proud history of the student movement in supporting freedom and justice in so many of those struggles, from the Sandinistas to South Africa. It is a heritage we strongly defend, and it is one we aspire to uphold.

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Northeastern University SJP Chapter Joins Call to Reinstate Suspended CCNY Student Activists

Northeastern University Students for Justice in Palestine

The Students for Justice in Palestine chapters at Northeastern University and Northeastern University School of Law join CUNY School of Law SJP in condemning the suspension of City College of New York (CCNY) students Khalil Vasquez and Tafadar Sourov for their anti-militarization activism.

We share their further condemnation of the September arrest of the CUNY 6 as they protested General David Petraeus’s appointment, and of the October closing of the independently run Morales/Assata Shakur Community and Student Center. We are deeply concerned about the attempted punishment and suppression of student organizers of color, such as Vasquez and Sourov.

These events continue the nationwide pattern of silencing campus activists who organize against militarism and settler colonialism. At Northeastern this year, SJP chapters posted pro-Palestinian flyers; organized panels, pickets, and marches; and staged a walk-out from a campus IDF event. Subsequently, our undergrad chapter was sanctioned, our fliers were torn down, all law school student bulletin boards were moved without notice, and our leaders faced violence and death threats from unaffiliated parties. Yet, we have grown even more determined to voice our opposition to U.S. and Israeli militarism.

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CUNY Law Students for Justice in Palestine Stands in Solidarity with CUNY Students in the Crosshairs of Repression

As members of Students for Justice in Palestine at the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law, we condemn the CUNY administration’s suspension of City College of New York (CCNY) students Khalil Vasquez and Tafadar Sourov for their anti-militarization activism.

The Ad Hoc Committee Against the Militarization of CUNY (“Ad Hoc Committee”) organizes to oppose the CUNY Board of Trustees’ appointment of former CIA director General David Petraeus at Macaulay Honors College. On September 17, 2013, six CUNY students (“the CUNY 6”) engaged in peaceful protest against Petraeus’ appointment were violently arrested and charged with obstruction of governmental administration, riot, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct.

On October 20, CCNY security abruptly seized and shut down the Guillermo Morales/Assata Shakur Community and Student Center (“Morales/Shakur Center”) at CCNY to prevent student and community access. The Morales/Shakur Center was won through student struggle and is operated independently of the university.

In the words of CCNY students, the Morales/Shakur Center “has been an invaluable space for community groups to meet on campus, for students to connect with their political elders, and for movement histories to be retained and shared in Harlem.” In particular, the Ad Hoc Committee actively uses the Morales/Shakur Center as their home-base for organizing.

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Right to Education Campaign 2013

Right to Education Campaign

Dear friends,

We are writing to you to invite your group to participate in this year’s ‘Right 2 Education Week’. Every year, the Right 2 Education Campaign mobilises an increasing number of people globally to take part in a week of events and actions to raise awareness about the plight of Palestinians in their quest for education.

This year, from 11-15 November, we are aiming for a deeper, international impact than ever before.

Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights stipulates that, ‘Everyone has the right to education’. Palestinians living under military occupation are being systematically denied this basic right.

Restrictions on movement means that higher education is not ‘equally accessible to all on the basis of merit’ (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 26) but rather is accessible only to those who can reach it. Checkpoints and roadblocks inside the West Bank can see short journeys take hours, or become impossible. Gazan students are unable to leave to study elsewhere, and those who do obtain permission cannot return to see their families. Studying abroad is difficult, as is the freedom of international intellectuals and students to visit Palestinian universities. Materials and text books purchased are often delayed by the military which leads to a recycling of knowledge as students are not able to access the most up-to-date information. Many students face arrest and detention for political activism, and in the vast areas of the West Bank under complete military occupation it is prohibited for Palestinians to build, amongst other things, education facilities. These man-made problems have led to a decimation of the rights of Palestinians to education.

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