ALL OUT AGAINST ZIONISM AND COLLABORATION, LONG LIVE MARTYR BASIL AL-ARAJ!

 

*ACTION ALERT* TODAY WITH PALESTINIAN YOUTH MOVEMENT (PYM) 3/13: Palestine Observer Mission 115 E 65th Street, 5:30pm

Basil al-Araj, a beloved intellectual and activist who lived and died on the principle of resistance, was murdered by the Zionist security forces in an early morning raid last week. Basil was no stranger to the repressive nature of the PA, having been arrested and held in Palestinian Authority prisons for months before launching a hunger strike in protest. Upon his and his comrades release, the Israelis repeatedly raided his family’s home in Ramallah in search of Basil, but he was able to evade capture for months before being killed resisting the occupiers.

 

The shameless collaborators in the Palestinian Authority freely gloat about their betrayal of Palestine, referencing the arrest of Basil al-Araj and five other resistors, PA President Mahmoud Abbas was reported in Der Spiegel in April of last year saying, “Our security forces are working very efficiently to prevent terror. Just a couple of days ago, three young men were tracked down and arrested. They were planning an attack. In this context, our security cooperation with Israel is functioning well.” Adding salt to the wound, in the protests that followed in the past few days, the PA security force has beaten, tear gassed, and shot live ammunition at protestors struggling against the traitors in the PA.

 

It is clear as ever that the Palestinian Authority exists solely as an external security force for the colonizers, putting a Palestinian face on a settler bureaucracy. There hasn’t been national elections in Palestine in over ten years, even by the standard of international law the PA is an illegitimate governing body. The security coordination that Abbas is all-too-eager to facilitate is the legacy of the disastrous Oslo Accords. The logical conclusion to a “peace” agreement negotiated by imperialists between the settler and the indigenous can only end with the capitulation of the indigenous political force sitting at the negotiation table. We must interrogate why our imperialist government has a vested interest in the establishment and maintenance of the Palestinian Authority, and arrive at the conclusion that the Palestinians have already come to: that Oslo was never meant to provide a just peace, instead it is only a way to strengthen and entrench the colonization of Palestine. For ourselves in the diaspora and allies in the U.S. our job as students, intellectuals and workers must be to unmask that connection between U.S. imperialism and the continued rule of the Palestinian Authority. Basil reminds us that we cannot simply be students passively studying the Palestinian situation,

“If you want to be an intellectual, you have to be an engaged intellectual, and if you refuse to do so, it is no use to be intellectual.”

 

For Basil, for Omar Nayef Zayed, and for all those betrayed by the PA collaborators, rally with us and the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) today, at 5:30pm at 115 E 65th Street.

 

PA: END SECURITY COORDINATION WITH ISRAEL OR DISSOLVE!

LONG LIVE THE MARTYR BASIL AL-ARAJ!

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March 4 Education!

  

Today, March 4th, NYC SJP joins Anakbayan NY in their call for an anti-imperialist youth contingent at the People’s March for Education Justice. We demand an education that reflects the needs and history of marginalized people here, especially at CUNY, a university that has the highest population of Black and Brown students in the United States. We memorialize the ongoing struggles to elevate decolonial curricula in CUNY and elsewhere, as ethnic studies programs are slashed in favor of whitewashed settler colonial history. Our role as Palestine organizers is one of unconditional support and participation in a movement to liberate CUNY for the people. We understand the historic demands of free tuition, open admissions, democratic governance, and a revolutionary curriculum which teaches oppressed nationality students their history, stemming from the 1969 Open Admissions Strike. We remember the lessons taught to us by Palestinian students who visited on the Right2Education campaign from Bir Zeit University and other universities in the West Bank. On one hand, U.S & Israeli coordinated military tactics are deployed in IDF raids on Palestinian universities. This serves as a barrier to education in Palestine, whether done to target specific political activity or for general intimidation. Students on their way to school may be routinely stopped, questioned, and detained. Israel intentionally stunts the accessibility of education for Palestinians, raiding the universities in the West Bank, bombing the schools in Gaza, and propagating naked cultural genocide on Palestinian students within 1948 historic Palestine.

Similarly, our schools in New York are under another sort of occupation: the New York Police Department. Beyond navigating the general criminalization of our communities, Black and Brown youth must also deal with the NYPigDepartment’s armed officers in schools, metal detectors in the hallways, truancy cops, and the ever-present threat of I.C.E. Oppressed nationality youth are thus doubly prevented from having a just and quality education: the intentional underfunding and neglect of public education in Black and Brown communities means only 14% of Black and Brown high school graduates are college-ready in New York City. In addition, Palestinian and other oppressed nationality students in many US public schools learn about their history from the viewpoint of the oppressor. As NYC SJP, we know what we are taught about Palestine and other colonized countries we come from has never been reflective of the lived experiences of the diaspora who are educated in them. Upholding Zionist narratives in school sends a message to these students that their whole identities or histories are not welcome in the classroom. The colonial assumption that “Columbus discovered America” and the erasure of the violence he unleashed on indigenous peoples of the Americas goes hand in hand with similar ideas about the role of Zionism taught in today’s schools. We recognize that the education given to us is not merely propaganda, but part of an apparatus designed to prepare us for exploitation under capitalist class society, and part of maintaining the ideological justification for empire. The U.S. empire would not be able to function if its education system did not indoctrinate us into believing that Puerto Rico is the U.S., Palestine is Israel, and in the crusty decayed corpse that is the American Dream. We stand in solidarity with all peoples unfairly unrepresented in their curriculum, all students with guns in their faces, and all those who must walk through a checkpoint to get to class, whether that is in Bethlehem or Parkchester. Thus progressive education policies should also include a call to social justice teaching, on the Palestinian struggle and beyond. Public education must be thought of as a collective project; the community will not be benefitted from the opportunity that a few individual students may have to “choose” to go to a charter school. We demand an education system that teaches us our real histories, that prepares us to organize for liberation, and most importantly, one that materially benefits our communities. 

With the election of wannabe-Mussolini Donald Trump, Betsy DeVos – a billionaire advocate of charter schools and defunding of public education – has just been appointed the Secretary of Education. The destruction of accessible education has led to cities like New Orleans, where not a single public high school is left. Although DeVos is escalating the attacks on public education, teachers unions and scientific curriculum, she was not the first to do so, the previous approach to education under Obama and other presidents has assaulted the people’s right to education for as long as this country has existed. However, the urgency of fighting for accessible and just education has never been more apparent in recent history. 

And as students, we cannot pretend that we will be students forever, or that we are somehow outside of our communities once we enter the university. Our organizing has led us to be attacked by everyone from City Council to the terrorist Jewish Defense League, but we acknowledge that all these attacks are meant to hamper the revolutionary potential of our communities and force them, through a myriad of ways, into an apolitical existence. The student movement should serve the community – and not limit itself to student-specific demands, else we risk rendering ourselves politically irrelevant in the long term. Build organizations and caucuses in your high schools, colleges, graduate associations and teachers unions. Divest from Israel and prisons, from the Dakota Access Pipeline and military industrial complex. Force ICE and ROTC off campus, throw professors like Petraeus out the door, demand a just contract for our educators, and go back to our communities and serve the people. 

In solidarity with Anakbayan, we aim to Take Back Our Education – away from the politicians and private corporations, into the hands of the people of this city. 
We call on all youth and students to participate in the March 4 Education TODAY at 9:30 AM in Columbus Circle and 2:00 PM at Hunter College!

Solidarity with NYU SJP!

New York City Students for Justice in Palestine condemns, in the strongest terms, the failure of the NYU Administration to publicly defend its students from threats of rape and murder, threats to send their immigration information to federal agencies, and hate speech, directed at Arab, Muslim, and Palestine solidarity activist students at NYU.
The Administration’s failure is consistent with previous failures of universities in New York and throughout the United States to properly safe guard the rights of students, particularly students of color and from immigrant backgrounds, to participate in political discourse and dissent against imperialism and Zionism. We find the failure of universities to protect this right at a time of immense state repression and threats of mass deportation to be particularly disturbing and an indictment of the nature of the neoliberal university campus.
We call on NYU to unequivocally state its opposition to threats to students and student organizations, investigate the legitimacy of these threats, and declare NYU a sanctuary campus.

Fight Donald Trump, Join the STRUGGLE!

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NYC Students for Justice in Palestine stands alongside all communities in the United States under the threat of white supremacist violence by both the State and hate groups that target oppressed nationalities, Muslims, women, LGBTQ communities, and the working class. The election of Donald Trump is an urgent wake up call to address and fight the rise of a white nationalist movement that is eager to ravage our communities through violent deportations of undocumented families, extra-judicial killings of Black and Brown families, expanded surveillance and entrapment of Palestinian, Arab and Muslim communities, and state sanctioned violence against queer and gender nonconforming people. Since the election of Donald Trump we have already seen a surge of white supremacist violence against non-white people living in the U.S., surpassing the levels of the months after September 11th. As organizers in the belly of the beast dedicated to the liberation of Palestine, it is our duty to struggle alongside the people against a fascist dictatorship. Our fronts are simultaneously cultural, political, social and economic.

Since the election of Trump we have seen the fears of many Palestinian organizers and communities become more concrete with the appointment of fascist Steve Bannon, a founder of the red-baiting, conspiracy theory-filled, white nationalist website, Breitbart. This “news” website has given both right-wing zionists and the “alt-right” (a new name for an old enemy: Nazis) a platform to disseminate their designs for an ethnically pure nation state, exclusive to their ultra-nationalist colonial definition of a citizen. In harmony with their violent anti-semitism, the white nationalist movement points to the Zionist state as a model of such a project, disputing the personhood of the Jewish people while embracing the ideology of European settler-colonialism. Israel uses perceived anti-semitism as a justification for the ongoing settler colonial project and theft of Palestinian land, and the orientalist mythology of the Zionist state relies on anti-semitism in SWANA (South West Asia North Africa) and the West to entice Jews all over the world to settle on Palestinian land. Anti-Semites for decades have advocated for the existence of a separate Jewish state to remove populations of Jews from Western countries to “dilute the white bloodline” and serve the imperialist interests of empire in the Middle East.

Democrats and Republicans are both enemies of oppressed nationalities and obstructions to true democracy and to the freedom of communities bound by their borders. They are both enemies of Arab and Palestinian self determination. They both support the settler colonial terrorist state of Israel. Both Trump and Clinton showed up at AIPAC’s annual meeting in March. Trump declared Israel “a strategic ally” and “the only democracy in the Middle East.” Clinton doubled down and denounced the nonviolent global movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction the apartheid regime as “alarming,” equating it to antisemitism.

The struggle between the white settler colonial legacy and multi-cultural imperialism has manifested itself in the past few elections within the empire. In the past month, the Republican party has consolidated a broad support base of ultra-right Nazis who wish to rebrand themselves as the “alt-right.” Trump’s cabinet appointments of open white supremacists such as Bannon and Jeff Sessions represent a right wing nationalist pushback against neo-liberalist policies.

On the other side of the two-party dictatorship, neoliberal interests are championed by faux-progressives like Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, beholden not to the people they claim to represent but only to the empire over which they have draped a multicultural veneer. Through the numerous leaks that have emerged over the past months, the Democratic National Committee has shown itself to be just as undemocratic and beholden to corporate interests as the Republican Party. The Democratic Party has a long and poisonous history of sucking the revolutionary vigor out of social movements, transforming them into hollow NGOs or benign talking points for Democratic Party candidates. We say this with a conviction forged in the napalm fires of Vietnam and the white phosphorous of Iraq: the Democratic and Republican parties are two wings of the same empire, the empire that is nothing less than the enemy who we aim to confront and defeat.

We are committed to struggling with other oppressed groups to secure our collective liberation. None of us are free until all of us are free. New York City Students for Justice in Palestine will contribute by integrating ourselves amongst our communities, facilitating Know Your Rights workshops and self-defense trainings, and helping our communities get answers and resources with our broad network of allied organizations that have been doing the work for years. We will take leadership from organizations that are concerned with the well being of the people and work towards our collective freedom. We will participate in the foundation of an overall collective process to build the power of the oppressed that pushes us, students, workers, and community members to be present in the trenches of struggle, not wallow in the shallow rhetoric of allyship.

As part of the mobilization by a broad section of the people against Trump, we encourage as many to participate in the #J20 day of action to disrupt the inauguration, whether in Washington DC or in our local cities, towns, schools, workplaces and blocks. We urge all Palestinian solidarity organizers to not only participate in J20 but also build in your communities to defend vulnerable communities against vigilante xenophobic attacks or state violence in its many forms of repression.

We will not sit in the ivory tower and gesticulate about the various forms of resistance being taken by oppressed peoples in this country and abroad to combat the system intent on destroying their communities. Whether it is the indigenous warriors defending sacred land on the frontline against the Dakota Access Pipeline, rebellions against state violence in urban centers, or antifascist mobilizations against the klan and alt-right, it is right to rebel. There is no better time than now to clearly and unapologetically articulate our politics and goals. Join us on January 20th and beyond.

 

Smash Trump, Free Palestine!

There is only one solution, intifada revolution!

Cuomo Won’t Deliver Us a Free CUNY

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On January 3rd, 2017, New York Governor Cuomo and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders announced a plan to bring free tuition at public universities in New York State for those students coming from families with joint incomes under $125,000 under a three-year phase-in program through the new Excelsior scholarship.  

Students for Justice in Palestine has had a massive presence in the CUNY and SUNY systems in the last five years, with chapters present at almost all of CUNY’s four year campuses and many SJP chapters active as well on the SUNY level.  We have dedicated ourselves to the struggle for a free and liberated University that serves the needs of the broad masses of working-class and oppressed nationality New Yorkers. Indeed Palestinian organizing as part of the larger CUNY struggle  goes at least as far back as the 1990s where the Palestinian Club at Hunter College made up an integral part of the Student Liberation Action Movement whose precursors battled then Governor Mario Cuomo, the current Governor Cuomo’s father, on the streets of the financial district, forcing him to veto his own bill to raise tuition at CUNY.

We recognize and understand the rich history of struggle at CUNY, and that our role as Palestine organizers must be one of unconditional support and participation in the movement to liberate CUNY for the people.  We understand the historic demands of free tuition, open admissions, democratic governance, and a revolutionary curriculum which teaches oppressed nationality students their history, stemming from the 1969 Open Admissions Strike, to be part of a larger anti-racist, global movement to bring down US Imperialism and provide reparations for those populations shackled under it.  Indeed, it was the specific conditions of CUNY itself that led us to build NYCSJP, which would include all youth from our communities, not just those who were fortunate enough to attend CUNY or another higher education institution.

While we are excited by the possibility of great opportunity for working-class and oppressed nationality youth in New York City to attend CUNY and SUNY schools given the Governor’s proposal, we worry about the larger impact of the proposed legislation itself. With the increased effort by CUNY to privatize and militarize the university as a whole, this can lead to increasing the number of black and brown working class NYC youth being locked out of the CUNY system and their right to education.

As with the passage of open admissions in 1969, we expect that CUNY enrollment will increase astronomically in the next few years, especially given the poor job market for those who do not possess college degrees. The question then remains if Governor Cuomo will provide increase funding to accommodate these extra students. If not, the individual colleges will be forced to further increase their already outrageous selectivity standards, pushing us further away from the historical demand of a CUNY student body which represents the makeup of New York City as a whole, and increasingly locking out the exact students which Cuomo’s proposal was supposed to assist in attending college.  

When we examine, for example, the most elite and selective institution within CUNY, the Graduate Center, we see an overwhelmingly White population, unreflective of the population of  NYC Public High Schools and even of the other CUNY campuses.  We will not trade affordability for access and we reject any attempt to continuously increase the selectivity of an institution which belongs to the people of New York.  If tuition is abolished but only the elite, select (and White) few can attend CUNY, we consider this no victory and pledge to fight any attempts to cut funding from CUNY after the passage of the Excelsior scholarship.

FREE TUITION AND OPEN ADMISSION!

LIBERATE CUNY FOR THE PEOPLE!

Right to Resist: Decolonize This Place & NYC SJP Zine!

In light of the surge of violent attacks by white supremacist vigilantes emboldened by Donald Trump’s election and the promise of intensified state surveillance, violence, and repression, we respond to the urgent need to redouble our struggle against US imperialism from within the belly of the beast.

In mapping out what the right to resist looks like from Eastchester in the occupied Bronx to East Jerusalem in occupied Palestine and beyond, we are reminded that the fight against white supremacy and structural racism in the US is incomplete if it is not situated as part of the broader fight against US empire.

As chatter that Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor and champion of broken windows policing, is being considered by Trump for a top cabinet position, we reaffirm the right of all oppressed peoples to resist by any means necessary. In the words of Kwame Ture, “In order for nonviolence to work, your opponent must have a conscience. The United States has none.”

We look to history and to the examples of our comrades alongside us in NYC and around the world from Palestine to the Philippines that are fighting the very same forces championed by the president-elect to guide our way toward revolution.

We call on all comrades and allies in the struggle against Islamophobia, white supremacy and zionism to join us in collectivizing our insights, experiences, and resources in the consolidation of our movements into a united front against fascism.

Link to the livestream of the event: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1355960427750582&id=899935043353125

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CALL TO MAY DAY 2016: PALESTINE CONTINGENT

When: May, 1st at 12pm

Where: Union Square West

 

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Join NYC Students for Justice in Palestine as we turn out to this year’s May Day contingent at Union Square. International Workers Day, or “May Day” originated to commemorate the death of the four workers protesting for the current 8-hour workdays during the Chicago Haymarket Riot in 1886. Although the U.S. does not recognize days like this as it continues to wipe away the history of the workers and migrants that built this country, May Day has since continued to celebrate the ongoing class struggle waged worldwide to overthrow oppression and exploitation.

 

The world imperialist system today is prone to instability and crisis, and the people are confronted with a deepening economic crisis that the 2016 presidential candidates promise to fix. On one hand, GOP-top runner candidate Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant and Islamophobic rhetoric creates sharp antagonisms in class struggle that gives rise to a fascist movement. Among the Democrats we see neoliberalism take the form of Social Democracy, often the friendliest form of capitalism. Yet around the country, black people  still continued to be killed with impunity, immigrant families are still raided and deported, and communities are still struggling for clean water, living wages and affordable housing.

 

This May Day, our thoughts are with oppressed people everywhere. While oppression manifests itself through class, it takes up many different forms, with imperialism being the most sophisticated and detrimental to oppressed nationalities worldwide, as imperialism and state sanctioned violence forces displaced people to come to countries like the U.S. for survival. The exploiting class in imperialist countries ally with the comprador class in their colonies and territories, often engulfing in proxy wars that result in the destruction we see in places like Aleppo, Syria today.  
As NYC SJP,  we  emphasize the global struggles for national liberation and self-determination, in particular that of the Palestinian struggle, for on this May Day, Palestine remains under the occupation of the white supremacist, settler-colonial Zionist entity that calls itself Israel. Discriminatory laws have been signed into practice in occupied Palestine by Israel since the Nakba in 1948, which killed, displaced, and forcibly removed three-quarters of a million Palestinians. The Palestinian people are subject to an ongoing genocide on a near-daily basis, and every few years, they are subjected to major Israeli operations that kill indiscriminately. The point of these operations is to crush the souls and morales of the Palestinians, to reaffirm Israel’s domination as the settler-colonial vanguard state in the Middle East. We last saw this on a major scale in the summer of 2014, when Israel killed over 2,000 Palestinians in Gaza. In the U.S. we see the conviction of Palestinian organizer Rasmea Odeh along with many political prisoners fighting for liberation. We see the rapid expansion of settlements in the West Bank as our communities continue to be gentrified and surveilled in America. We see the ever-expanding continuation of the Nakba in occupied Palestine as the U.S. expands as the largest military and prison system in the world. Then, when Palestinians rise up and resist, Israel and its global enablers label them terrorists.

Indeed, this May also marks 68 years of living under occupation, ethnic cleansing, apartheid, and genocide for the Palestinian people. Israel sustains itself and its crimes through the aid of global imperialist powers that also oppress working class peoples in their own countries, the most notable of these countries being the United States, the world’s only superpower and leading imperialist power.

This May Day, we denounce Israel, we denounce the United States, and we denounce global capitalism and its highest form, imperialism. We salute the workers, the resistors, and the oppressed everywhere.

WE WILL BE VICTORIOUS!

FOR A LIBERATED PALESTINE, THE RETURN OF ALL ITS REFUGEES, AND A DEMOCRATIC STATE IN WHICH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE CHOOSE THEIR FUTURES!

FOR THE LIBERATION OF ALL OPPRESSED PEOPLE, INCLUDING THE EXPLOITED WORKERS WE ARE PROUDLY MARCHING WITH!