U.S. Out of Syria: Rebuilding the Anti-War Movement



On April 6 just after 8:30 p.m. the United States launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian Air Force base in Homs province. While the Trump administration sought to paint the offensive as a justified retaliation for the chemical attack in Idlib alleged to have been carried out by the Syrian government, we know all too well that the US empire has no moral qualms about the victims of the Idlib attack or the entirety of the Syrian people for that matter. Our position as anti-imperialists must be consistent and clear: US “humanitarian interventions” have only ever resulted in the death and decimation of entire nations, and in the case of Syria, further US intervention will only prolong the war, lead to the death of more innocent Syrians, and serve U.S. capitalist interests. The US has thrown its airpower into a campaign of terror in Syria and Iraq for 973 days and counting, ostensibly under the pretence of fighting the Islamic State and other rebel groups. During that time there have been 19,527 airstrikes across these countries, with an estimated 2,978 civilians killed and many more displaced. The most devastating of these airstrikes came in the Iraqi city of Mosul on March 17, in which over 300 Iraqi civilians were killed, making it the one of the worst US led civilian bombings in a quarter century.

In the past two months, the United States has deployed thousands of US soldiers in Syria and Iraq, top US generals have demanded more troops in Afghanistan, and Yemen has been hit with more US bombs and raids than ever before. As organizers in the United States, we must condemn in words and actions the recent expansion of the United States’ military presence in the region, specifically in Syria. We have discussed our view of this inter-imperialist conflict and our position remains unchanged. The shift in US military intervention, no longer limited to devastating airstrikes, now includes the addition of 500 US marines and Army Rangers in Syria, as well as the deployment of 2,500 Marines in Kuwait to be used in combat operations in Iraq and Syria. We also cannot forget that the US has engaged in a steady buildup of forces in Iraq, now numbering over 5,000.  The facts suggest the US is preparing for a larger ground presence, a move that would cause the continued carving up of Syria. This constitutes the possible threat of regime change imposed by imperialist forces and allies, such as the United States, Turkey, israel, the Gulf states, and others. We vehemently oppose the intervention of all imperialist forces in Syria and denounce American complicity in denying the Syrian and Kurdish peoples the right to self-determination free of outside coercion.

Since 2011, the world has witnessed a brutal conflict between the Syrian government, rebel factions, and their respective allies. Over 300,000 have been killed, and millions are displaced within and outside of the country. While both sides of this conflict have attempted to leverage international support, we understand that neither the Syrian Government nor the organized political and military opposition have served the Syrian people or their democratic aspirations. While employing rhetoric of revolution, the armed and political opposition has been consistently funded by the US and its allies, who have repeatedly attempted to co-opt the rage and pain of the Syrian people for the benefit of US strategic interests. It is clear that these forces have been co-opted by outside powers which seek to impose their own agenda in Syria and blunt the revolutionary potential of the Syrian and Kurdish people. Meanwhile, little doubt remains about the position of the Syrian government to the values of democracy or human dignity.

STOP THE U.S. WAR MACHINE (1)As an anti-imperialist youth organization, we can not stay silent about US intervention in Syria. The United States has played a central role in shaping the conditions that birthed ISIS beginning with its occupation of Iraq in 2003 and further fueled the current conflict by supporting reactionary and competing opposition groups in Syria. We understand the United States’ stated goal “to defeat ISIS” is nothing but an excuse to intensify airstrikes, raids, and escalating military occupation; ensuring its hegemony in the region. In the process, thousands have been killed, leaving generations with irreparable damage. We strongly condemn the US’ role in Syrian affairs, including the Trump regime’s rejection of refugees caused in part by this American imperialism. The Syrian & Kurdish people must decide their own fate, and all actors who seek to undermine Syrian freedom and self-determination should be held accountable. To this end, we recognize that our enemy abroad is our enemy at home. The enemy that leads the world in incarceration, the enemy that murders Black and Brown people with impunity and allows fascism to rise is the same empire that facilitates Zionism and rains bombs on the heads of people all around the globe.


While we respect the diversity of opinion concerning the Syrian conflict, we call for the unity of pro-Palestine and anti-imperialist organizations around the country to mobilize around halting the escalation of US intervention in Syria and in the region as a whole. Our primary duty is to prevent our own government, one which has invaded and destroyed dozens of nations since WWII, from continuing to exacerbate the conflict. We must be clear that regardless of the use of a “humanitarian” or “counter-terrorism” framework to justify intervention, the United States has no role in the Middle East but to leave it. Neither guise will cover the strategic chaos the US encourages and benefits from as it seeks to expand into new markets and ruthlessly exploit existing ones. The lack of a formal declaration of war does not sidestep the reality that the US is at war with Syria. This intentional informality is symbolic of the hidden face of modern imperialism, as seen in Yemen, Somalia, Libya, and Pakistan among others. We will not allow the Middle East to be destroyed at the feet of the world’s deadliest war machine. As Palestinian & MENA diaspora and comrades in the United States, we have no option but to collectively resist by building an anti-war movement that can halt American intervention in Syria, Palestine, and around the world. Just as we support the right of the Palestinian people to resist Zionist settler-colonialism, we must unconditionally uphold the right of the Syrian & Kurdish people to resist American and all imperialist military occupation, using any method they deem necessary.






New York City Students for Justice in Palestine




*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.





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!


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


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.



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