Anti-war summer

Zishun Ning And Audrey Hui
Friday, Jun 21, 2024

The movement against the continued Palestinian genocide in Gaza has sparked protests and encampments in colleges across the country and beyond. Local governments, such as the New York City government, collude with universities like Columbia, NYU, and CUNY to criminalize students for speaking out against the U.S. war machine by brutalizing peaceful protests. But this crackdown has only drawn more sympathy from people across the city and nation. Meanwhile, New York Mayor Eric Adams, who takes cues from billionaires and big real estate, tries to divide students from the rest of the community, portraying students as “antisemetic” and supporters as “outside agitators.”

As students and young workers, his words have prompted important questions for us, especially as the semester has ended and student presence on campus diminishes: Are we going to continue seeing our schools as the main focus and escalate on campus? Or should we escalate by spreading our movement outside the campus and organizing with the broader majority?

The student movement has awakened the consciousness of students, young people, and community members across the nation; it is a strong step in the fight against U.S. Imperialism. The U.S. government can only justify genocide by putting a Jewish face on it, and frames any opposition as anti-Jewish hate. Mainstream media happily portrays students as the hateful minority detached from society. We must not allow the student movement to become isolated.

We are at a disadvantage in terms of time and space: Many students have already left school for summer break; suddenly being back in our home towns, many of which lack anti-war protests or political movements and are fed with misinformation that equates the student movement with antisemitism, can feel isolating and disconcerting. But this disadvantage can be turned into an advantage: This summer is the time for us to spread and grow our movement in our communities.

As students and young workers, what is our relationship with the broader communities, the 99%? Growing up, we were told that we would become privileged by obtaining higher education, and that we would climb up the social ladder with a college degree and a good job and maybe occasionally we can give back to our communities. In reality, most of us would end up being exploited and miserable, facing exorbitant amounts of debt and working longer hours with less income than previous generations. And our labor–whether we work for a film production company, a tech company, a science lab, or any other field–is used to maintain and fuel the U.S. Imperialism that plunders the world! Our creativity goes to promote invasions, our management skill goes to finance for genocide, our passionfor engineering and technology goes to research or development for the military industrial complex.

Excerpted: ‘Let’s Organize for an Anti-US War Machine Summer’. Courtesy: