News Release

“Students for Gaza are Undeterred”

[On Thursday, South Africa made its case for more provisional measures against Israel to the International Court of Justice. See videos, clip of Prof. Vaughan Lowe and prior IPA news release. Israel responded early on Friday.]

While President Biden and many big media outlets have falsely depicted student protesters as violent, CNN recently published the piece “Unmasking counterprotesters who attacked UCLA’s pro-Palestine encampment.” See video.

ARUN GUPTA,, @arunindy
Gupta is an investigative reporter who has covered protest movements around the United States for decades. He recently spent more than a week reporting on five different student encampments in New York City. He was on the inside of Columbia University, New York University, and City College of New York, and was on the scene when each one was violently evicted by the NYPD. He just wrote about the student protest movement for YES Magazine, “Students for Gaza are Undeterred.”

He said, “The reflex by many universities to use riot police to crush peaceful student protests is outrageous but hardly shocking. The media have failed to explain how police violence has been deployed extensively against left-wing activists since the nonviolent protest against the World Trade Organization Ministerial in 1999 that became known as ‘The Battle of Seattle.’ After that, increasingly militarized police targeted protests against the Iraq War, immigrant-rights activists, Occupy Wall Street, Ferguson, and Black Lives Matter. The media seem to have forgotten that in one day, May 30, 2020, eight people were blinded in one eye by police munitions during the George Floyd protests. The sight of heavily armed riot police body slamming professors and using potentially lethal munitions and chemical weapons against students peacefully calling for an end to Israel’s genocide of Gaza indicates that America’s authoritarian turn is a bipartisan policy.

“The media have also ignored the historical significance of this organic student movement. In my visits to the camps the students are principled, sophisticated, militant, and peaceful. Unlike the media, they study history and are eager to learn about past social movements. They cite as influences on their movement calling for universities to divest from Israel the 1968 student movement, the anti-apartheid divestment movement, Occupy Wall Street, and the Black Lives Matter and George Floyd movement. Most significantly, the students draw inspiration from Palestinians, who remarkably have responded with messages of support and solidarity even as Israel is trying to bomb and starve them to death. The example of the Palestinians also explains the resilience of this movement. Students have been subjected to doxing, suspensions, being thrown out of their homes and school with little notice, and considerable violence from police and right-wing mobs. But they say whatever they suffer is nothing compared to what Palestinians are suffering.

“Police violence has not suffocated it. Protests keep popping up in new forms and locations. I stood on the steps of NYU’s Stern School of Business as police arrested more than 130 students, faculty, and community members on April 22. Days later students set up a new encampment nearby. After that was evicted, NYU students occupied the library. After the New School’s student protest was swept away, faculty set up an encampment. After the NYPD violently broke up the occupation at CCNY, one of 25 campuses at the City University of New York, a new occupation was launched at the CUNY Graduate Center in Midtown Manhattan. Palestine solidarity protests and camps continue to pop up around the country, in 45 of 50 states, and in 29 countries worldwide.

“Students say this movement is not going away until the genocide is ended and there is a permanent ceasefire. Many are organizing to be on the streets of Chicago during the Democratic National Convention in August. They also plan to keep organizing and protesting over the summer in anticipation of a renewed movement once classes start up again in the fall.”