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Students for Justice in Palestine condemns U.S. government witch hunt

By staff |
December 31, 2010
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Fight Back News Service is circulating the following statement from Students for Justice in Palestine.

Students for Justice in Palestine condemns US government witch hunt

Students for Justice in Palestine

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:

  1. American University, Students for Justice in Palestine
  2. Arizona State University, Students for Justice in Palestine
  3. Bard College, International Solidarity Movement
  4. Benedictine University, Students for Justice in Palestine
  5. Boston University, Students for Justice in Palestine
  6. Brandeis University, Brandeis SJP
  7. Brooklyn College CUNY, The Palestinian Club
  8. Columbia University, Students for Justice in Palestine
  9. Cornell University, United for Peace and Justice in Palestine
  10. DePaul University, Students for Justice in Palestine
  11. Eastern Washington University, SLAC
  12. Florida International University, Students for Justice in Palestine
  13. George Mason University, Students for Justice in Palestine
  14. George Washington University, Students for Justice in Palestine
  15. Georgetown University, Students for Justice in Palestine
  16. Hampshire College, Students for Justice in Palestine
  17. Harvard Law School, Middle East Law Students Association
  18. Harvard University, Alliance for Justice in the Middle East
  19. Harvard University, Harvard College Palestine Solidarity Committee
  20. Harvard University, Harvard Law School Justice for Palestine
  21. Hunter College, Students for Justice in Palestine
  22. Loyola University, Middle Eastern Student Association
  23. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, [email protected]
  24. New York University, Students for Justice in Palestine
  25. Northeastern Illinois University, Students for Justice in Palestine
  26. Northwestern University, Students for Justice in Palestine
  27. Ohio State University, Committee for Justice in Palestine
  28. Pennsylvania State University, Students for Justice in Palestine
  29. Rutgers University – New Brunswick, BAKA: Students United for Middle Eastern Justice
  30. San Diego State University, Students for Justice in Palestine
  31. School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Students for Justice in Palestine
  32. Temple University, Temple Students for Justice in Palestine
  33. Tufts University, Students for Justice in Palestine
  34. University of Arizona, Students for Justice in Palestine
  35. University of California, Berkeley, Students for Justice in Palestine
  36. University of California, Berkeley Law, Law Students for Justice in Palestine
  37. University of California, Davis, Students for Justice in Palestine
  38. University of California, Irvine, Students for Justice in Palestine
  39. University of California, Los Angeles, Students for Justice in Palestine
  40. University of California, Riverside, Students for Justice in Palestine
  41. University of California, San Diego, Students for Justice in Palestine
  42. University of Chicago, Students for Justice in Palestine
  43. University of Florida, Students for Justice In Palestine
  44. University of Illinois at Chicago, Students for Justice in Palestine
  45. University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Students for Justice in Palestine
  46. University of Michigan, Students Allied for Freedom & Equality
  47. University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Palestine Solidarity Committee
  48. University of Pittsburgh, Pitt Students for Justice in Palestine
  49. University of South Florida, Students for Justice in Palestine
  50. University of Southern California, Students for Justice in Palestine
  51. University of Texas at Austin, Palestine Solidarity Committee
  52. University of Washington, Students for Justice in Palestine
  53. Vermont Law School, Law Students for Justice in Palestine
  54. Wellesley College, Justice for Palestine
  55. Yale University, Yale Students for Justice and Peace in Palestine