Some 30 courageous Northeastern University (NEU) student activists rallied Jan. 10 in front of Ell Hall, where disciplinary hearings for three student supporters of Palestinian liberation were scheduled to take place. Huskies for a Free Palestine, a member group in the Boston Coalition for Palestine, organized the action to demand that the NEU administration drop all trumped-up “disciplinary” charges against its members and for Northeastern’s total divestment from the Zionist state of Israel.
The university is targeting students for protesting the ongoing Zionist genocide in Gaza. On Dec. 3, the University’s Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution, with offices in Ell Hall, brought these charges against students who organized a Dec. 1 sit-in at the Curry Student Center to protest the University’s investments in the Israeli state’s murderous terror campaign in Gaza and the West Bank.
Jan. 10, the day of NEU’s show trial, was also the day before South Africa made its opening arguments before the International Court of Justice at The Hague, in the Netherlands, where the Zionist state faces judgment for its ongoing genocide against the Palestinian people.
Other Palestine Solidarity groups and Alumni have rallied in support of the students. On Dec. 13, NEU alumni published an open letter denouncing Northeastern’s witch hunt, demanding “that the University end targeted discipline and repression, and respect the rights of all Northeastern community members to demonstrate and organize on campus.”
Other NEU alumni posted messages on Huskies for a Free Palestine’s Instagram page. “As a Palestinian American Northeastern alum I am APPALLED to be associated with my alma mater,” wrote one supporter. “Your disciplinary charges are unjustified and targeted. I vow to never encourage another prospective student to consider NEU again.”
NEU administration’s response to the solidarity action on Jan. 10 was an intensified crackdown. Campus cops and administrators prowled the public green where the demonstration was taking place, demanding students show their IDs and refusing to let in activists, including members of Workers World Party Boston, who had shown up in support.
Defying the police, protestors chanted “Not another nickel, not another dime, no more money for Israel’s crimes!” and “In our thousands, in our millions, we are all Palestinians” in support of their comrades, with several waving Palestinian flags.
Part of broader effort to quash student solidarity with Palestine
Northeastern’s persecution is part of the ongoing efforts by universities and other bourgeois institutions to quash the international Palestinian solidarity movement. Nearly all major universities in the U.S. and Western Europe have threatened and tried to intimidate activists associated with international Palestinian solidarity movements, including Boycott Divestments, Sanctions (BDS) and Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP).
Earlier this month, right-wing billionaire donors, led by hedge fund boss Bill Ackman, forced Harvard President Claudine Gay to resign, following a racist Zionist smear campaign. (workers.org/2024/01/76094/)
On Jan. 8, seven members of Brandeis Students for Justice in Palestine, now banned by the University, appeared in Waltham District Court after police attacked a November demonstration on the Brandeis campus.
That Northeastern’s administration is frantic to suppress protests against the Zionist state — a settler-colonial outpost of the U.S. empire — should come as no surprise. The university sponsors research and co-op programs with weapons and tech companies, including Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and Boston Dynamics, which supply the Zionist state with the drones and weapons used by occupation forces to bomb and massacre Palestinians.
Egan Research Center, one of the buildings at NEU, even has an “amphitheater” named for Raytheon. Huskies for a Free Palestine continues to demand that Northeastern cut all ties with these corporations and end its complicity in Israel’s genocide. (tinyurl.com/5n96d777)
That Northeastern refuses to do so, and instead persecutes those protesting this genocide, underscores the need to organize against ruling class repression worldwide and continue to build solidarity with the Palestinian people in their battle against the Zionist state.
For further information on how to support Huskies for a Free Palestine, please visit their Instagram page at: tinyurl.com/2x75y6cd.