Counter Protest Tactics Attempt To Plague University Anti-Genocide Encampments and NYU Encampment and Arrests

Counter Protest Tactics Attempt To Plague University Anti-Genocide Encampments

As the Israel-Gaza War rages on, protests have spread throughout American campuses as students oppose Israeli’s military onslaught and the tragic humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Student have demanded a ceasefire, an end to US military support for Israel and that universities divest from Israel. In response, University officials have suspended and expelled students, banned pro-Palestinian student groups, called in the police and sent mixed messages on students’ right to free speech. At UCLA, a group of counterprotesters launched a violent attack on pro-Palestinian protesters.

Guest – Salam Al-Marayati, president and co-founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, where he oversees MPACs groundbreaking civic engagement, public policy, and advocacy work. Salam Al-Marayati is an expert on Islam in the West, Muslim reform movements, human rights, democracy, national security, and Middle East politics. He has spoken at the White House and on Capitol Hill and has represented the U.S. at international human rights and religious freedom conferences. He is very active in interfaith dialogue, which is where I first met him in the wake of 9/11 in my capacity as a leader of Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace.

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NYU Encampment and Arrests

In early May, New York Police Department officers demolished pro-Palestinian encampments, and arrested 56 student protesters, at New York University and the New School. Officials at both universities enlisted the police to assistance in tearing down the tents.

The NYU encampment was at the John A. Paulson Center on Bleecker Street. Professors there released a statement condemning the decision to call in the municipal police, calling it another shameful moment in NYU history that had put students at risk. NYUs Palestine Solidarity Coalition posted on social media: We have seen seven months of targeting pro-Palestinian speech on this campus, and thus cannot agree with the admins claims of acting in good faith.

Supporting student protesters at several NYC campuses has been Mumia Abu-Jamal, who has called in to address them from Mahanoy state prison in Pennsylvania. Mumia has told students that they are on the right side of history by electing not to be silent and to speak out.

Guest – Xavier Fitzsimmons-Cruz, Xavier recently earned his masters degree at NYU; this fall he will begin working toward his PhD in history at the City University of New York.


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