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New Report Analyzes Crackdown on Palestine Solidarity in the U.S.

by Palestine Legal
Palestine Legal publishes new report on trends in and challenges to escalating anti-Palestinian repression in the post-Oct 7th period
Palestine Legal publishes new report on trends in and challenges to escalating anti-Palestinian repression in the post-Oct 7th period
Chicago, IL, May 24th, 2024 – Today Palestine Legal published a new report on the post-Oct 7th crackdown on Palestine solidarity in the US. The report is Palestine Legal’s first total accounting and analysis of the reports of repression the organization received between Oct 7th and Dec 31, 2023, with the high volume of reports continuing into 2024.

The report comes as universities continue to summon state, local, and campus police to brutally crack down on student activists on a scale not seen in decades. Within the last month alone, university administrators called in law enforcement to arrest over 3,000 students, professors, and solidarity activists on more than 80 campuses.

The report shares data showing how repression targeting Palestinians and their supporters is at an all-time high. Palestine Legal received 1,037 requests for legal support in the three months between October 7 and December 31, including 908 reports from people targeted for their Palestine advocacy, and 119 other legal questions and inquiries from concerned activists. This is over four times the number of reports the organization received in all of 2022, reflecting an exponential rise in anti-Palestinian repression across the US.

Despite the unprecedented repression, 2023 marked the largest and broadest pro-Palestine mobilization in US history, and the movement has shown no signs of dissipating. People have been galvanized by the sheer magnitude of destruction and loss of Palestinian life in Gaza, and by the Biden administration’s unrelenting funding and backing of Israel’s ongoing genocide of Palestinians, even while public opinion has shifted decidedly against it. The report analyzes how the tsunami of anti-Palestinian repression is a desperate reaction to the growing frequency and impact of widespread, bold actions for Palestinian freedom.

The report breaks down the trends in repression, describing numerous incidents and challenges to them across all arenas, including severe campus crackdowns; attacks on K-12 students and teachers; widespread workplace discrimination and retaliation; criminalization of protesters and physical threats and violence; and increased legislation targeting Palestine advocacy. All of these repression tactics are fueled by the dehumanizing anti-Palestinian rhetoric coming from Israel and its allies, and echoed by elected officials and institutional leaders.

In recent weeks, as student-led demonstrations in support of Palestinian freedom continue undeterred in the form of encampments and sit-ins on campuses across the country, the repression has also grown in severity. Students and supporters are confronting mass arrests, threats of expulsion, evictions, brutal police crackdowns, Zionist mob violence, as well as dangerous Zionist lawfare efforts targeting students and other advocacy as “support for terrorism.”

In addition to advising and representing hundreds of individuals and filing lawsuits challenging attempts to ban student groups, since April, Palestine Legal has filed 8 federal civil rights complaints against universities for severe anti-Palestinian discrimination in violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act. As a result, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Emory University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Columbia University are now under federal investigation for anti-Palestinian racism.

Using numerous incidents to illustrate trends, the report puts these dramatic escalations in the context of post-October mobilizations to stop the ongoing genocide, as well as the longer well-documented context of years of grassroots movement building and repressive Zionist efforts to thwart the movement for Palestinian rights by creating a “Palestine Exception” to civil liberties.

“We have been warning of a new McCarthyism for years in the face of Israel and its allies’ escalating repression, and it is now here in full effect, and its impact will be harsh and long-lasting,” said Palestine Legal Director Dima Khalidi. “The stakes couldn’t be higher - not just for Palestinians being killed by the tens of thousands in Gaza, and not just for the Palestine movement, but for all our justice movements. Now is the time to step up and defend our collective rights to dissent and organize for justice, and to challenge the descent into fascism that this moment portends.”


https://palestinelegal.org/news/2024/5/23/new-report-analyzes-crackdown-on-palestine-solidarity-in-the-usnbsp
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