Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

American universities burned during the Gaza War.

By b0oua Apr 30, 2024

Students who support the Palestinian cause are still occupying dozens of university campuses in the United States as of Monday, April 29. Similar to prior student demonstrations, such as those against the war in Vietnam or against the apartheid state in South Africa, the magnitude of the mobilization is reminiscent of earlier student movements.

There has been a wave of demonstrations against Propalestian ideology that began ten days ago at Columbia University in New York and has since expanded across the United States, notably on the East Coast. Demonstrations against the war in Gaza and the support that the United States government provides to Israel have been occupied or organized by students in two-thirds of the states in the United States, ranging from California to Vermont.

The police, who responded to the request of university presidents to intervene on campuses, have already taken more than 850 students into custody as of Monday, April 29.

This level of mobilization is reminiscent of the resistance movements that occurred during the Vietnam War or apartheid. If American universities are frequently the venue of student demonstrations, then the extent of the mobilization is significant. Protests are also directed at the foreign policy of the United States government.

At a time when higher education was witnessing a significant growth in the number of students enrolled, the 1960s saw the beginning of the first major movements in American colleges. They are favored by the accomplishments of the Free Speech Movement, also known as the “Movement for freedom of expression,” which took place at Berkeley, California. This movement was established by a student organization that was successful in removing limits on the freedom of expression and assembly about political topics.

Advocates for racial rights and opponents of segregation

Beginning at the beginning of the 1960s, students in the United States began organizing in order to demand that segregationist laws in the South be abolished. In spite of the fact that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 both brought about the elimination of racial policies, several discriminatory practices continued to exist. Protests were held on campus in 1968 to show support for the civil rights movement and to advocate for inclusion initiatives, sometimes known as “affirmative action.”

Therefore, in February, police officers killed three individuals and injured 27 others on the campus of the University of South Carolina in Orangeburg. This occurred after a week of student disturbance against segregation that was still in effect in All Star Bowling Lane, a shopping center in the city, despite the fact that racial discrimination had been abolished.

There was a rapid spread of the mobilization, particularly in the states of Michigan, New York, Brown, Berkeley, and Illinois. Beginning in November 1968 and continuing through March 1969, the Black Panthers student union went on strike and was successful in bringing the University of San Francisco to a halt. They called for an increase in the number of African-Americans who were represented on campus.

In opposition to the Vietnam War

Beginning in the middle of the 1960s, the United States of America got more involved in the Vietnam War and sent a greater number of young men to fight during the phase of the war in which conscription was in place. On March 17, 1965, the organization known as Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was responsible for organizing one of the first national rallies against the war. This event was held in Washington and brought together 25,000 individuals during that time.

Despite the fact that the United States was currently engaged in a war, protests continued and reached their zenith in the year 1968. Students at Columbia University rebelled and held the buildings of the administration on campus for several weeks in April, going so far as to take the dean hostage for twenty-four hours. This occurred in the wake of the “ten days of resistance” that were organized by the Student Movement for Social Justice (SDS). In May, students at the University of Berkeley participated in a ceremony in which they pledged to not participate in the draft.

According to the findings of a researcher named Marie-Christine Granjon, who wrote an article in 1988 titled “Campus Revolt and New American Left,” “Student unrest contributed to raising public awareness, then around 1968, to turning it around and making it hostile to American intervention.”

The mobilization, on the other hand, contains its fair share of fanaticism, with chants that are really offensive. “Fight for Hanoi. Saigon should be lost. Victory to the Viet Cong organization! Please help us rescue Hanoi. Let us fail to win Saigon. To celebrate the victorious triumph of the Viet Cong,” the students yelled.

Outflow of funds from South Africa during the apartheid era

An further effort against racial discrimination gained strength in American universities beginning in the 1980s, extending the fight against such prejudice. in opposition to the apartheid rule that was in place in South Africa. In 1979, the black student association took the initiative to organize the first sit-in, which took place at Princeton University, which is considered to be one of the Ivy League campuses. They are demanding that firms that profit from apartheid in South Africa voluntarily divest themselves of their holdings.

During the year 1985, the movement began to gain steam. Campuses are being occupied, petitions are being signed, sit-ins are being organized, and students are boycotting classes to protest the government. A call has been made to their establishments, requesting that they sell their stakes in businesses that are involved in trade with South Africa.

Among the first institutions to divest is Hampshire University. Similar actions are being taken by other establishments. 155 of them, in total, severed the economic supplies that were being provided to the apartheid system. When it came time for the United States government to take action against South Africa in 1986, they decided to execute a program of disinvestment and also imposed nationwide sanctions. The apartheid regime was removed from power in 1991 when it was declared illegal by the world community.

This strategy is being imitated. Beginning in the 2010s, a student movement began advocating for divestment from businesses that were involved in the production of fossil fuels. In the year 2024, students who are in favor of the Palestinian cause are also campaigning for divestment from businesses that provide assistance to Israel, whether it be in its policy of colonization of the West Bank or in its leadership of the war in Gaza.–6630b8d9cb728#goto6451–flekosteel—-tj-403243516


By b0oua

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