Activism

Video: Protesters are attacked at an ‘Israel Alliance’ event at U of New Mexico

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Update: Second video added below

Violence broke out at the University of New Mexico campus during a peaceful protest on February 23rd of a lecture by Nonie Darwish, sponsored by UNM Israel Alliance, an affiliate of StandWithUs.

As you can see, members of the audience assaulted a number of UNM students when they began their ‘mic-checking’ action.

The public lecture, “The Arab Spring: Why it’s Failing and How Israel is Involved,”  began at 7PM in the Anthropology lecture hall.  UNM students protested against the Islamophobic rhetoric put forward by Darwish, an author and founder of Arabs For Israel. When the students raised their voices, a number of audience members got out of their seats and used force against the students.

Jordan Whelchel, a UNM student:

“The response to this non-violent protest was a violent assault by parts of the crowd. The mic-check was shouted down by a few of the pro-Israel audience members who began physically forcing the protestors out of the auditorium. One of the pro-Palestine activists, a young woman who studies at UNM, had her face scratched and her hair pulled. A young man was forcibly pulled over a row of seats. One was nearly punched in the face, though another protestor intervened to stop the assailant by putting himself in the way. A phone was destroyed, and a camera only narrowly avoided the same fate.

This reaction came as a shock to the protestors. They desired to use words to shake people out of their comfort and complacency , they anticipated words in return, but were met with fists and shoulders. The only people who protected protestors from physical assault were other protestors. In the hallway, the ones who used a protest tactic widely endorsed by Arab Spring activists were called anti-democratic, pro-terrorist, and so on. “

A student caught much of the event on film before another audience member pushed down her camera. The students were then forced out of the auditorium and called the UNM police, who arrived and filed a report on the incident.

These students were assaulted on UNM campus for simply trying to make their voices heard. It is a shock that a non-violent action was met with such aggression.

UPDATE: Here’s is another video of the action. Note the man lunge into the protesters at 17 seconds:

(Hat tip Susan Schuurman )

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“It is a shock that a non-violent action was met with such aggression”

it is the israeli way !!

There’s no excuse for violence. But it’s worth carefully considering the implications of the use of disruptive tactics; any tactic that is used by one group can be used by another. The Palestinian rights movement either has to have the confidence to ignore events like this and carry on with its campaign, or show up, ask questions, and debate. I don’t see any benefit from this sort of disruption, on a pragmatic or moral basis.… Read more »

this is an incredible video demonstrating how off the rails these israel supporters are.

amazing action, amazing video. thank you so much danya and please give my regards to all the awesome new mexicans who took part in this action. new mexico has such a vibrant activist community, we’ve documented their work before on MW. kudos.

I hope these brave protesters will quickly stage an event for the new Palestinian woman hunger striker, Hana Yahya al-Shalabi!

The sooner that Shalabi gets some news coverage, the faster she will be freed.

She is exactly like Khader Adnan — but is not 66 days into her hunger strike.

* Electronic Intifada has covered her story at http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/khader-adnan-recovering-not-out-danger-palestinian-woman-takes-hunger-strike#shalabi

*AntiWar.com has covered it at:

http://news.antiwar.com/2012/02/23/israel-faces-new-hunger-striker-after-reneging-on-prisoner-swap/

Annie, please trumpet her story everywhere you can!

Thanks.

there is another video added, i recommend