CALL TO ACTION: THE ICSGP DENOUNCES ISRAEL’S BRUTAL ATTACKS ON RAFAH

Calls For Social Movements Worldwide To Join Popular University For Gaza Movement.

Demands the United Nations and Palestinian Authority immediately declare Gaza a famine-stricken area.

The International Coalition to Stop Genocide in Palestine (ICSGP) abhors the brutal slaughter in recent days by the Israeli Occupation Forces of displaced Palestinians who had been living in tents in Rafah. This is a flagrant violation of the International Court of Justice’s May 24 order, at the request of South Africa, that Israel cease its operations there. Coming after nearly eight months of genocidal attacks, including induced famine, these massacres leave no room for doubt about Israel’s intent to wipe out the population of Gaza, even as it has intensified genocidal attacks in the West Bank.

The ICSGP calls upon social movements, labor unions, human rights and justice-focused organizations worldwide to demand in the strongest possible terms that their respective states, and international institutions, immediately act to enforce the World Court’s order, and put an end to the genocide in Palestine.

In particular, the ICSGP asks movements around the world to join our Palestinian member organizations:

  1. In their demand that the United Nations and Palestinian Authority immediately declare Gaza a famine-stricken area due to intentional starvation, environmental pollution, and the spread of disease. Click here to sign;
  2. and in their call for social movements worldwide to act in strong solidarity with campus organizers, whose leaders have been brutalized and criminalized by Zionist university administrations and their militarized police accomplices.

The ICSGP applauds the tremendous successes of campus organizers around the world to stop the ongoing genocide. These include instances of students winning demands from universities in the United States and in many other nations to increase fiscal transparency and explore divestment from Israel, and in some cases achieving a full commitment of divestment.

“Students have historically been guided by moral values that government officials often forget for short term political nuances, the student movement today represents the moral compass of the popular masses,” stated Ubai Aboudi, director of the Bisan Center for Research and Development—an ICSGP member organization – emphasizing further that popular movements must now stand alongside students, both on and off campus, as they stand with Palestine.

Students around the world have been quick to take up the tactic of occupying their campuses in solidarity with Palestine, following the examples of their comrades internationally and in response to the call from the Palestinian student movement in the Gaza Strip, despite the risks. Kevin Bueno, a student at the Universidade Estadual Paulista “Júlio de Mesquita Filho” in Río Claro in Brazil and an activist with Comitê contra o genocídio do povo palestino in Rio Claro, an ICSGP member organization, emphasized the importance of global movement connections.

“Our university administration is very Zionist, so when students organize in support of the Palestinian right to self-determination, we have been censured and the administration has accused us of being anti-semitic and supporting terrorism. It’s a real challenge to build solidarity with Palestine in Brazil because Zionist ideas are so prevalent here, even among the left. But we continue to organize at the university every day, and our numbers are increasing. The strength of the global student movement has inspired us, and has given us the motivation to continue organizing despite the obstacles, and the support from local and national movements here in Brazil has also been fundamental to our ability to resist Zionist attacks and to demand an end to the ongoing genocide.”

Student organizers in the United States and around the world have also stressed the need to break down the barriers to organizing that the ivory tower attempts to impose upon them to isolate and criminalize the movement. When the same university administrators and public officials who wax eloquent about the importance of “community engagement” to higher education accuse campus activists of harboring “outside infiltrators” in public university spaces, they do so in an effort to delegitimize the broad campus solidarity movement, and as an excuse to call in militarized police to brutalize activists.

Marie Adele Grosso, third-year Barnard College student of Sociology and Human Rights, states “We reject the false dichotomy of student vs. outsider in our collective struggle for the liberation of Palestine, which is inextricable from our struggles for liberation here in the United States, and across the globe. The communities that surround universities are part of the university environment and the university plays a central role in the lives of community members. This is especially true of institutions like Columbia University, which is the largest landholder in New York City. Students and community members stand together in our original demands, including that universities divest from the Zionist genocidal war machine, and our subsequent demands that universities—as public actors and major presences in our communities—protect freedom of expression, drop all charges against peaceful protestors, and cease the brutal repression of campus movements. As public and private universities increasingly expose themselves as little more than degree-granting fascist corporations, we welcome social movements and members of the public to ‘enroll’ alongside us at the Popular University of Gaza, in the vital struggle for justice, liberation, and the reclamation of lands expropriated for genocide and oppression.”

Around the United States, as student activists have been criminalized and barred by their universities from receiving their diplomas, numerous communities have held People’s University for Gaza graduations in recent weeks. At these events, students, educators, activists, and other community members committed to justice have celebrated becoming part of a global movement where every space is a site of resistance, and every participant is dedicated to dismantling systems of oppression. The International Coalition to Stop Genocide in Palestine urges global social movements to support the Key Initiatives of the Popular University for Gaza Movement, which include:

  1. Local Coalition Building: Engage with local student-led movements working to end genocide. Support them through the provision of supplies, training, turnout, and by fighting for the dismissal of all charges against protesters (see one example here), building coalitions that transcend the boundaries of the ivory tower as part of the formation of a global network of resistance. Worker unions can also strike or organize other actions to support student demands, as they have done in California and Ontario, Canada.
  2. Pedagogies of the Oppressed: work to transform every space, both within and beyond traditional university walls, into a site for revolutionary education focused on the liberation of Palestine, and humanity’s collective freedom.
  3. Strategic Occupation Tactics: using the Spring 2024 student occupations of Zionist universities as a model, strategically occupy and reclaim spaces of oppression. These spaces must be repatriated to the community, transforming sites of injustice into centers of liberation.