New York City Students for Justice in Palestine calls for solidarity with the Million Student March, a day of action on November 12, 2015 to demand tuition-free public college, cancellation of all student debt, and a $15 minimum wage for all campus workers.
In 2011, CUNY approved a 5 year plan in which tuition would be increased by $300 annually, leading to over a 30% increase overall. Recently, the Board of Trustees has expressed its desire to further hike tuition to an additional $300 per year for the next five years. It’s important to understand that while students are paying over $6,000 yearly in tuition, it is directly funding CUNY’s investments to private prisons, detention centers, and over $1.5 million to Israeli companies and companies that support the occupation. Chancellor Milliken’s luxury penthouse is billed to CUNY students with a price tag of $18,000 per month, while CUNY says it doesn’t have enough money for daycare for working class mothers, or gender resource centers.
The Zionist administration invests in Israeli companies, hosts birthright programs and study abroad programs in occupied Palestine, and reproduces settler-colonial ideology throughout CUNY through Zionist content of education which erases the reality that Palestinians live through every day. While CUNY aims to produce the next generation of professional Zionists, SJP aims to change the university and fight for all peoples liberation.
CUNY continues to increase our tuition every year, claiming that the State of New York has cut the budget for CUNY, yet continues to pay racist, war criminals to come to our schools. This semester, CUNY invited war criminal Iddo Netanyahu to showcase his play at City College, twice. New York City Students for Justice in Palestine from different CUNY campuses protested the event, and were threatened by security with arrests if they did not leave. On the first night of the play, a City College student was arrested when she asked why other CUNY students were not allowed in, although they had tickets. On the second night, NYC SJP were able to go inside watch the play, and after protesting the Q & A session they were kicked out by NYPD officers. CUNY also invites Islamophobes such as Pamela Geller (Spring 2015), who made racist comments towards CUNY students and compared them to ISIS on social media, putting their lives in danger. The City University of New York represses student organizing, allows NYPD to infiltrate our campuses, and decides to protect the interests of a racist system over the interests of the oppressed communities of New York.
For these reasons and more, New York City SJP calls on all our comrades and supporters to join us at the #MillionStudentMarch this Thursday, November 12th, at 5pm at Hunter College.
For the same reasons we stand in solidarity with the students of University of Missouri who are being targeted by both racists on campus as well as the administration, we will fight the white supremacist, patriarchal nature of the CUNY administration that systematically locks out working class, oppressed nationality people from accessing education.