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!
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!
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
When: May, 1st at 12pm
Where: Union Square West
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!
Today, Sunday April 17, 2016, join us and our allies as we launch the second Prison Divestment National Week of Action and mark the 42nd Palestinian Prisoners’ Day. We will gather at 1:30pm at Cadman Plaza and come out in full force to rally against the massive public investment and private prison companies that profit off of human rights violations in New York, Palestine, the US/Mexico border and prison detention centers around the world.
It is no secret that the U.S. is built on the foundation of genocide and enslavement of indigenous, Black, and other oppressed nationalities, and seeks to punish and imprison those who build power in antagonism with said foundation. And like its imperialist benefactor the United States, Israel imprisons Palestinians who seek justice from the violent Zionist settler state.
As of February of this year, Israel has detained 7,000 Palestinian political detainees, including 406 children and 670 administrative detainees. Israel true to its apartheid-like nature, has separate legal systems for Palestinians in the West Bank and the illegal settlers occupying it. While settlers enjoy their full fledged rights under the Israeli civilian system, Palestinians are subjected to the Israeli military court system.
Case in point, is twelve year old Dima al-Wawi the youngest girl in the world to be detained. She has been arrested and tried under the military courts for allegedly holding a knife and attempting to stab an Israeli soldier. Dima was questioned without the presence of her lawyers or parents, subsequently, she was coerced to sign a confession in Hebrew (a language that Dima does not understand). Dima’s case is not unique. In fact, coercion, torture, and psychological abuses are a general practice by the IDF soldiers and the Israeli military system put in place for Palestinians.
It is the link to U.S. imperialism that help make it possible for the Israeli military to orchestrate these kind of travesties. The U.S. spends 3 billion dollars a year on the Zionist state, which includes its military fund. Companies likes G4S, one of the largest security and imprisonment facilities in the world, provides services and equipment for Israeli prisons.
Zionism is built on, and maintains itself on the erasure of Palestinians, their history and their culture to survive. Israel, frantically trying to destroy the Palestinian spirit, finds itself confronted with the resistance that came before its establishment, and will live on after it’s destruction. Zionists can attempt new ways to divide and conquer Palestinians, but the oppressed peoples of the world will find a thousand more ways to resist and crush Zionism.
We will not stay silent at Israel’s farce of a so-called democracy and the United States’ hand in the colonization of Palestine. We unapologetically call out Israel for what it is: a European settler colonial state created through ethnic cleansing, displacements, and crippling national oppression. Zionism and a liberated Palestine can not exist concurrently, one will necessarily overcome the other. As Palestinians in the diaspora and internationalists, we know that Zionism can not be simply tolerated and reformed, it must be ended by any means necessary, as well as every ideology that upholds the imperialist system today.
Furthermore, the United States, as an imperialist nation, depends on Israel to further its control and influence in the region. We cannot call for a liberated Palestine without the defeat of US imperialism. We, as solidarity organizers for the Palestinian cause in the United States, must connect the struggles of all oppressed peoples here in the States and around the world. We must call out the US’ mass incarceration for what it is: genocide. Like Zionism, national oppression in the United States against Black people, Chicanos, First Nations and others is not something that can be voted away or changed by shifting the political narrative in popular media. Only by revolutionary struggle can these systems of oppression not only be managed, but they can be ended. From the detention centers in Arizona to the dungeons in occupied Hebron, FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS NOW!
YOUTH AND STUDENTS UNITE TO FIGHT IMPERIALISM FROM THE PHILIPPINES TO NEW YORK TO PALESTINE
As students, workers and community members in solidarity with Palestine and all oppressed nations, New York City Students for Justice in Palestine stands in solidarity with the people of Kidapawan, after the massacre in which several farmers were killed, hundreds were injured and dozens remain missing.
During a devastating drought in the Cotabato region of Mindanao, over 5,000 farmers and indigenous Lumad marched on the Cotabato-Davao highway and formed a human barricade to demand relief in the form of 15,000 sacks of rice. Responding to this show of power by the people of Cotabato, the Philippine National Police (PNP) opened fire on the barricade, killing at least three people, injuring more than 100, and arresting more than 80 others. After the massacre, the protestors found sanctuary in the United Methodist Church compound, where the PNP continues to harass them under the pretext of “searching for firearms”. US imperialism, represented by the Government of the Philippines, will try to halt the growth of the revolutionary movement in the Philippines by any means available, as shown by the recent massacres in Hacienda Lusita and Kidapawan, disappearances and extrajudicial killings of indigenous activists from the Cordillera mountains to Mindanao, and the armed campaign against the National Democratic Front of the Philippines.
NYC SJP recognizes the parallels between the reactionary government in the Philippines and the settler-colonial state of Israel. Like the Zionist state, the Aquino regime in the Philippines depends on U.S. imperialist aid to survive, receiving $79 million in U.S. military aid in 2015. AnakBayan NY notes, “This aid goes directly to the repression of the people’s just resistance against their oppressors as this recent incident in Cotabato shows. The shooting of unarmed protestors exposes the cowardice of the Malacañang government and their desperation to hold onto their power.” Similarly, Israel ranks as the number one recipient of U.S. military aid, receiving $3 billion in 2015, in addition to regularly receiving annual lump sums as much as $1.9 billion. Both the Government of the Philippines and the Israeli state operate as U.S. outposts in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, advancing the interests of U.S. hegemony at the expense of the Filipino, Palestinian, and oppressed nations all over the globe.
While the police and military in the Philippines prevent the people of Cotabato from accessing necessities like food, the Israeli state imposes a crippling siege on Gaza. The siege results in extreme food shortages, water sources in which 96% of the coastal aquifer is contaminated with chloride and nitrate, chronic unemployment and damaged and destroyed crucial infrastructure. This air, naval, and land siege is used to collectively punish the Palestinian people for their continuous resistance, in the various forms it takes, both armed and unarmed. However, the siege of Gaza is but one aspect of the national oppression Israel inflicts on the Palestinian people. The struggle for the liberation of Palestine is a struggle for the liberation of all of Palestine from the river to the sea, and must be led by Palestinians wherever they may be–in Gaza, the West Bank, ‘48 Palestine, the camps, and the wider diaspora. Similarly, the struggle for National Democracy and Socialism in the Philippines is a struggle not only against the Aquino regime, but a struggle for genuine democracy and liberation, against semi-feudalism, bureaucrat capitalism and U.S. imperialism.
Our role as progressive and revolutionary youth and students in the imperialist center is to weaken the Empire and incapacitate its reach, so that space is created for revolutionary movements to flourish in nations like the Philippines and Palestine, and they are able to self-determine their futures, free of imperialist and colonial domination. While the benefactors of Empire seem all-powerful, in reality they are weak and dependent on imperialism, illustrated by the Zionist’s need to dip into the U.S. ammunition stockpiles during the 2014 Israeli aggression on Gaza. Neither the puppet government in the Philippines, nor the settler state on Palestinian land have any chance of surviving without support from the imperialists. Logically then, our tasks must be to both organize in solidarity with Palestine through tools like BDS, as well as consciously and intentionally move forward the struggles rooted in national questions within the U.S. prison-house of nations.
We call on all Palestine solidarity organizations, and other progressive and revolutionary organizations to stand with the people of Cotabato not out of moralistic grandstanding, but out of revolutionary, internationalist necessity. As we have previously stated, “Advances of one anti-imperialist revolutionary struggle both objectively strain the resources of oppressor nation(s), and subjectively inspire anti-imperialist struggles around the world by proving these struggles are possible in practice. As SJPs organizing within the center of US imperialism, we are in a position to advance the anti-imperialist and anti-settler-colonial struggles here, and in particular the national liberation struggles of internal colonies within the borders of the US (the struggles for national self-determination of Blacks/New Afrikans, Chicanos, First Nations, etc.). By doing so, we will actively advance Palestinian liberation by undermining the ability of the US imperialist state to so extensively support Israel.”
We stand forever in solidarity with the struggle in the Philippines, and with our comrades in AnakBayan – USA. The crimes in Kidapawan and Gaza will not go unpunished.