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Indybay Feature

On May Day, UCSC Students Establish Gaza Solidarity Encampment

by Alex Darocy (alex [at] alexdarocy.com)
Today, students at UC Santa Cruz marched for International Workers' Day and established a Gaza solidarity encampment at Quarry Plaza.
Today, students at UC Santa Cruz marched for International Workers' Day and then established a Gaza solidarity encampment at Quarry Plaza.
To commemorate May Day, UC Divest Coalition at UCSC organized a march in coordination with campus labor groups. An event announcement for the march described the coaltion's three primary political objects: to "uplift international resistance to imperialism," to "defend workers' dignity and rights," and to "agitate workers and students on issues we are facing at UCSC and link to UCSC divestment from war."

Early in the day on May 1, graduate student workers at UCSC announced they would be walking off the job in solidarity with the call from the Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions to "disrupt business as usual" on May Day and Nakba Day.

"Over the last five days, 23 departments have held meetings to discuss how we might respond collectively, as academic workers, to the call for solidarity from Palestine, and to the stunning upsurge of protest and police violence on campuses around the country," UCSC grad workers for COLA wrote on Instagram. "At last night’s mass meeting, as cops fired flashbang grenades into the halls of Columbia University, the sentiment from department report-back after department report-back was nearly unanimous: Walk out. Roughly 250 workers present voted to heed the PGFTU call."

The May Day march began on Science Hill, eventually making its way to Quarry Plaza, where students had begun to set up a Gaza solidarity encampment.

"The solidarity encampment at UCSC is heeding the call from the people of Gaza to take back our university and embody an education that is truly for the people and the movement to liberate Palestine," UC Santa Cruz Students for Justice in Palestine wrote on their Instagram page after the camp was set up.

"We will host educational and cultural programming every day. Through education, we will secure our encampment, facilitate liberatory learning, emphasizing the interconnectedness of all struggles against colonial domination, and continue growing the student intifada."

UCSC SJP also posted the following set of demands:

* DIVEST. We demand complete divestment from weapon-manufacturing companies and research collaborations with weapon manufacturing industries.
* DISCLOSE. Provide full transparency to all UC-wide and UCSC Foundation assets including investments, donations, and grants.
* COMPLETE ACADEMIC BOYCOTT. Cut ties UC wide with all zionist institutions-- including study abroad programs, fellowships, seminars, research collaborations, and universities. Cut ties with the Hellen Diller foundation, Koret foundation, Israel institute, and Hillel International.
* END ACADEMIC REPRESSION. End the targeted repression and policing of pro-Palestinian advocacy on campus. Protect free speech and roll back all academic discipline against protestors.
* COPS OFF CAMPUS. Stop surveillance and violence against students. Sever all ties with SCPD. No cop training facility in Pogonip!
* END THE SILENCE. Call for an immediate and permanent ceasefire and an end to the occupation and genocide in Palestine.


Students at the encampment are calling for support, and are posting event announcements at: https://www.instagram.com/ucscsjp/

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