Students for Justice in Palestine Condemns US Government Witch Hunt

Press release, Students for Justice in Palestine, 29 December 2010

The following press release was issued by the Students for Justice in Palestine (US) on 29 December 2010:

“For if they take you in the morning, they will be coming for us that night.”
– James Baldwin, in an open letter to Angela Davis, 19 November 1970

As students at over fifty American universities, we unequivocally condemn the abuse of grand jury subpoenas to chill the exercise of First Amendment rights by university students and anti-war activists speaking and organizing against Israel’s continued oppression of the Palestinian people. Since 24 September 2010, the FBI has served at least 24 grand jury subpoenas on students and activists in a secret investigation that many have called a witch hunt. We call upon Attorney General Eric Holder and United States Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald to respect the civil rights and free speech of all those who support the Palestinian struggle for freedom by immediately withdrawing grand jury subpoenas which threaten the First Amendment rights of students and activists around the country.

The government’s assault on organizations and individuals who support the Palestinian struggle for freedom has become increasingly authoritarian. The abuse of laws criminalizing “material support for terrorism” is unprecedented and, had they been implemented at the time of South African apartheid, would have effectively criminalized broad American support for the anti-apartheid movement. At the apparent behest of US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, the government today has cast a net so wide that it has entangled journalists, college students, and peace activists. We know that a campaign so indiscriminate will seriously impinge on the First Amendment and other civil rights of people living in the United States. This will, in particular, affect active and outspoken students on university campuses, especially those of Palestinian descent.

It is not only our right but also our moral duty to speak and act against American foreign policy and its destructive impact on innocent people around the world. Today, America unfortunately stands behind Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people with money, weaponry, and diplomatic support. We seek to reverse this situation so that American foreign policy stands on the side of people who work towards justice. We reject the government’s efforts to isolate the Palestinian people by severing them from their non-violent supporters abroad. Therefore we stand in solidarity with the victims of our government’s campaign both in America and around the globe.

If Attorney Fitzgerald’s campaign marks the morning of a new day, then we are certain of what awaits us in the night. Like Baldwin before us, we live in an age in which silence is not only criminal but suicidal — we shall, therefore, make as much noise as we can.

Signed:

  • American University, Students for Justice in Palestine
  • Arizona State University, Students for Justice in Palestine
  • Bard College, International Solidarity Movement
  • Benedictine University, Students for Justice in Palestine
  • Boston University, Students for Justice in Palestine
  • Brandeis University, Brandeis SJP
  • Brooklyn College CUNY, The Palestinian Club
  • Columbia University, Students for Justice in Palestine
  • Cornell University, United for Peace and Justice in Palestine
  • DePaul University, Students for Justice in Palestine
  • Eastern Washington University, SLAC
  • Florida International University, Students for Justice in Palestine
  • George Mason University, Students for Justice in Palestine
  • George Washington University, Students for Justice in Palestine
  • Georgetown University, Students for Justice in Palestine
  • Hampshire College, Students for Justice in Palestine
  • Harvard Law School, Middle East Law Students Association
  • Harvard University, Alliance for Justice in the Middle East
  • Harvard University, Harvard College Palestine Solidarity Committee
  • Harvard University, Harvard Law School Justice for Palestine
  • Hunter College, Students for Justice in Palestine
  • Loyola University, Middle Eastern Student Association
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Palestine@MIT
  • New York University, Students for Justice in Palestine
  • Northeastern Illinois University, Students for Justice in Palestine
  • Northwestern University, Students for Justice in Palestine
  • Ohio State University, Committee for Justice in Palestine
  • Pennsylvania State University, Students for Justice in Palestine
  • Rutgers University – New Brunswick, BAKA: Students United for Middle Eastern Justice
  • San Diego State University, Students for Justice in Palestine
  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Students for Justice in Palestine
  • Temple University, Temple Students for Justice in Palestine
  • Tufts University, Students for Justice in Palestine
  • University of Arizona, Students for Justice in Palestine
  • University of California, Berkeley, Students for Justice in Palestine
  • University of California, Berkeley Law, Law Students for Justice in Palestine
  • University of California, Davis, Students for Justice in Palestine
  • University of California, Irvine, Students for Justice in Palestine
  • University of California, Los Angeles, Students for Justice in Palestine
  • University of California, Riverside, Students for Justice in Palestine
  • University of California, San Diego, Students for Justice in Palestine
  • University of Chicago, Students for Justice in Palestine
  • University of Florida, Students for Justice In Palestine
  • University of Illinois at Chicago, Students for Justice in Palestine
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Students for Justice in Palestine
  • University of Michigan, Students Allied for Freedom & Equality
  • University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Palestine Solidarity Committee
  • University of Pittsburgh, Pitt Students for Justice in Palestine
  • University of South Florida, Students for Justice in Palestine
  • University of Southern California, Students for Justice in Palestine
  • University of Texas at Austin, Palestine Solidarity Committee
  • University of Washington, Students for Justice in Palestine
  • Vermont Law School, Law Students for Justice in Palestine
  • Wellesley College, Justice for Palestine
  • Yale University, Yale Students for Justice and Peace in Palestine

 

2 Responses

  1. Israeli Apartheid and the BDS Movement
    Time
    Sunday, January 23 · 4:00pm – 7:00pm
    Location 1029 Santa Fe, Denver, CO
    Created By
    Saffo Smash
    More Info In 2005, over 170 different Palestinian organizations placed a call out to activists across the globe for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against the state of Israel, similar to those used against South Africa in the apartheid era. In this workshop, we will learn why we use the word “apartheid” to describe the state of Israel, and how we can support Palestinian struggles for justice. The situation in Palestine is not an isolated incident— rather it is a piece of a much larger struggle. We will discuss several connections between other struggles, such as: why Palestine is a queer issue, connections between Palestine and US Immigration politics, connections between Palestine and Colombia, and connections between Palestine and the violence in Kashmir. Finally, we will brainstorm actions that can be taken here in Denver, and make plans for the Seventh Annual Israeli Apartheid Week this coming March.

  2. […] The government’s assault on organizations and individuals who support the Palestinian struggle for freedom has become increasingly authoritarian. The abuse of laws criminalizing “material support for terrorism” is unprecedented and, had they been implemented at the time of South African apartheid, would have effectively criminalized broad American support for the anti-apartheid movement. At the apparent behest of US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, the government today has cast a net so wide that it has entangled journalists, college students, and peace activists. We know that a campaign so indiscriminate will seriously impinge on the First Amendment and other civil rights of people living in the United States. This will, in particular, affect active and outspoken students on university campuses, especially those of Palestinian descent. Read more » […]

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