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NLG Condemns Attacks on Gaza Solidarity Encampments

by National Lawyers Guild
April 25th, 2024 - The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) unequivocally condemns the ongoing repression of pro-Palestinian activism taking place on university campuses across the country. The NLG is firm in its support for a free Palestine, and is against Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza and occupation of the West Bank. The violent and unprovoked attacks by police on student encampments at Columbia, Yale, NYU, University of Southern California, Emory, University of Texas, and other universities exhibit a dangerous overreach against students’ 1st Amendment rights and further illustrates our country’s spiral into a surveillance state. These militarized police raids also draw attention away from the main call of student protests: end the genocide against the Palestinian people and divest from Israel!
April 25th, 2024 - The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) unequivocally condemns the ongoing repression of pro-Palestinian activism taking plac...
Since October, universities have been at the center of pro-Palestinian activism as students and faculty have responded to the daily atrocities inflicted by the Israeli government and military in Gaza and the West Bank as an occupying force. As a result, those that dare to speak out against the genocide of Palestinians are continually threatened, doxxed, and censored by their school administrations, powerful right-wing organizations, and even their fellow students. Anyone that supports the rights of Palestinans becomes a target of a well-funded movement of Zionist organizations, lobbyists for Israel, right-wing politicians, and media outlets equating any criticism of the state of Israel with anti-Semitism, even and especially against activists that identify as Jewish. Anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism.

Last week, students at Columbia University set up the first “Gaza Solidarity Encampment” to demand their university divest from Israel. In response, Columbia administration called the NYPD and over 100 students were arrested within 24 hours. This attempt to crush the student movement has only inspired more encampments in support of Palestinian resistance at dozens of other universities and the ongoing movement continues to grow. At these encampments, students and faculty have organized teach-ins, shared meals, prayed, and made banners and signs to show their solidarity with Gaza.

The response by university administrations and police departments to student encampments exposes them as agents of fascism and repression. Campus-based organizations, including student chapters of the NLG, have been silenced, sanctioned, and de-certified. Video footage from Columbia, New York University, University of Texas Austin, Emory University, Cal Poly Humboldt, and others shows police in riot gear moving in and attacking students, often within a few hours of them occupying a space on campus. Arrests are now well into the hundreds, and university administrations are suspending, expelling, and taking housing away from student activists and organizers. University administration’s collusion with an emboldened and militarized police force is not a spontaneous reaction to student protest: it is a deliberate tactic to use academic institutions to preserve the power of the war-mongering elite who directly benefit from Israel’s occupation and genocide of Palestine.

Universities should liberate themselves from the attempted puppeteering of the right-wing on campuses and instead fight to preserve academic institutions’ integrity as bastions for genuine freedom, democracy, and justice! This would be truer to the real purpose of U.S. universities, once imagined and publicly advertised as a fertile ground for scholarship, creativity, and innovation.

NLG fully supports the demands being put forward by the Gaza Solidarity Encampments:

* For universities to support and amplify boycott, divestment, and sanctions of Israel;
* For universities to officially call for an end to the genocide and occupation of Palestine;
* Drop all charges against student protesters;
* Cease all student disciplinary proceedings immediately; and
* Reinstate all students who have been suspended or expelled.

The NLG includes over 100+ student chapters and we stand by our student members and all students taking a principled stand in support of Palestine:

Further Resources:

Know Your Risks at Campus Protests Infographics

NLG Know Your Rights for Campus Protests Guide

NLG MA and CAIR MA KYR for Student Disciplinary Hearings

NLG KYR For University Faculty and Staff

NLG Palestine Solidarity Resources Guide

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