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Solidarity with Student Protests and Encampments for Palestine

Statement of National Executive Committee

 

The Socialist Party USA stands in solidarity with students leading protests and encampments at universities across the country. These actions are in support of a strategy of divestment of university resources from Israel, part of the broader BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions) movement. The Socialist Party's platform supports the BDS movement and opposes the apartheid policies of the Israeli government.

 

Student-led protests have a record of success in changing university investment and partnership policies. Student protests in support of divestment helped overthrow the apartheid regime of South Africa. Student protests have resulted in universities divesting from the tobacco industry and the coal, oil, and gas industry.

 

The Socialist Party calls for the full and equal funding of educational institutions as a public good, not as investment tools. Through their multi-billion-dollar endowment funds and partnerships with corporations and governments like Israel, universities use their non-profit status to enrich themselves at the expense of the people and communities they are intended to serve. We support student-led protests and encampments as one way to draw attention to this exploitation, and we call for an end to all forms of profit-driven education.

 

We oppose the use of overwhelming police force and military-style tactics to control encampments and demonstrations. We call on the Biden administration and state and local leaders to de-escalate law enforcement response. The Socialist Party platform supports stronger community control of police and eventual replacement of police with community-led conflict resolution. Campus protest groups are oneexample of this move toward community-controlled peacekeeping. Although some groups are not yet practiced enough to resolve all instances of tension or bad actors, the current police response has been too focused on unaccountable force and violence. We also urge university administrators to commit to their mission of learning and treat violations of university policy as teaching opportunities instead of grounds for immediate suspension or expulsion of students participating in the long American tradition of demonstration and protest.

 

SPUSA joins student protests in demanding that the US government immediately end all aid to the State of Israel and commit to supporting the Palestinians in rebuilding their country. We call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and for the withdrawal of all US military forces in historic Palestine. We call for delivering humanitarian aid and restoring human necessities, including food, water, fuel, medicine, and electricity to the people of Gaza. We furthermore call for the dismantling of all Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

 

The party's full statement on the catastrophe in Palestine is here:

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