UCLA divestment hearing, November 2014 (courtesy of The Daily Bruin)
Black for Palestine joins human rights organizations around the country in supporting the National Students for Justice in Palestine conference taking place in Los Angeles this weekend. NSJP has faced attempts at legal intimidation and censorship from the UCLA administration, Zionist organizations, and even the Los Angeles City Council, which unanimously passed a resolution condemning and calling for the cancellation of the event.
While attacks on Palestine organizing are common, the institutional threats and intimidation against college students are deeply troubling. Black for Palestine has learned that members of UCLA’s Afrikan Student Union were added to a Zionist blacklist website in retaliation for their pro-Palestinian organizing on campus.
The Afrikan Student Union at UCLA has long been an ally in the struggle for Palestinian rights. The ASU used its success in pushing the University of California to divest from prisons to support SJP’s efforts to divest from Israeli human rights violations. SJP has in turn supported the ASU in its mobilizations for the Black campus community.
The students were apparently targeted for their participation in a protest during the spring quarter. Zionists filed a police report against the students and attempted to have them prosecuted.
The anonymous blacklist aims to threaten the professional aspirations of pro-Palestinian students, youth, and faculty by labeling them “anti-American, anti-Semitic, and anti-freedom.”
The site has received hundreds of thousands of dollars in support from US Jewish organizations including the Jewish Community Federation in Los Angeles and San Francisco. This well-funded pro-Israel site is engaging in class and political warfare against progressive youth who are low income, working class, immigrants, or from communities of color, as it has the potential to affect their livelihoods and make them targets for rightwing harassment.
This blacklist is part of a decades long history of Zionist assaults against progressive movements, including the Anti Defamation League's spying on Arab-American and other civil rights groups. Black students and youth from UCLA to Stanford to the Dream Defenders have also been targeted by this current blacklist for their solidarity work. The site also targets Black historian and UCLA professor Robin D.G. Kelley.
We offer our wholehearted support to National SJP, and to all Black students who have taken a principled stance in supporting our shared struggle in Palestine.
These smears are a clear attempt to redirect attention away from Israel’s human rights abuses and occupation of Palestinian territory. Israel is not only an enemy of Palestinian liberation but of peoples’ liberation struggles everywhere.
The Zionist state supported European colonial regimes in their fight against African national liberation movements: providing arms and military training to the Portuguese in Mozambique and Angola, and supporting the apartheid regimes in South Africa and Zimbabwe until their fall. As an ethno-supremacist political ideology supported by U.S. imperialism, Zionism represents a clear and present threat to Black and African liberation--on the continent and in the diaspora.
We join SJP and the Afrikan Student Union in calling for unity among all oppressed people from Los Angeles to Palestine!