Editor’s Note: The following is a statement from Graduate Students for Justice in Palestine at UCLA. Mondoweiss occasionally publishes press releases and statements from organizations in an effort to draw attention to overlooked issues.
On this May Day 2019, we in Graduate Students for Justice in Palestine at UCLA express our firm support for the Johns Hopkins University Garland Sit-in and the demands being raised by participants for the university to demilitarize and defund the university’s private police force, end all contracts with ICE, and ensure that justice and accountability is enacted following the police murder of Tyrone West, a black man killed by a member of the Morgan State University Police Force.
Today, the JHU Sit-in is 29 days strong. We are inspired by the resilience and steadfastness of students and community members taking part in this initiative, as their example is a powerful testament to how it is our duty to push back against the university’s penchant for profiting off of the harm and exploitation of our communities. Furthermore, we agree with the sentiment expressed in an open letter to the UC Presidential Task Force for University wide policing jointly authored by National Students for Justice in Palestine (NSJP) and the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM): “the call for prison and police abolition is consistent with support for Palestinian liberation.” The Zionist colonization of Palestine is part and parcel of a global pattern of racial subjugation, whereby the surveillance, segregation, incapacitation, and incarceration of variously marginalized populations becomes increasingly incentivized. Our support for the JHU Garland Sit-in is thus directly continuous with our support of Palestinian freedom, self-determination and liberation, and unfortunately, the university represents a veritable nexus of oppression through its institutions, investments, contracts, and the policies it supports, which result in great harm to oppressed populations globally and domestically.
We therefore express our unwavering solidarity for the JHU Garland Sit-in, and call on all truly justice-oriented individuals and organizations to do the same, and support these courageous demonstrators in any way possible. As of this writing, it has been brought to our attention that organizers have chained themselves to Garland Hall (the administration building). We wish them steadfastness and resilience, and call on the JHU administration, particularly president Ronald Daniels, to negotiate with the demonstrators as swiftly as possible with no retaliation. From JHU to the University of California, police and ICE have no place on our campuses, and we must continue to struggle for a world in which campuses become spaces of community uplift, support and empowerment rather than racialized criminalization!”
Graduate Students for Justice in Palestine (GSJP) at UCLA
Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM)
National Students for Justice in Palestine (NSJP)
Eagle and Condor Liberation Front, UCLA (ECLF UCLA)
Students for Justice in Palestine at UCLA (SJP UCLA)
Jewish Voice for Peace, UCLA (JVP UCLA)
Jewish Voice for Peace – Los Angeles (JVP-LA)
If you are part of an organization that would like to endorse this statement, email [email protected]