Indian students show solidarity with US student encampments

May 1, 2024
Indian students protest for Palestine
Protesting in Kolkata, India in solidarity with the Palestinian people in November 2023. Photo: @AISAtweets/X

The Gaza solidarity encampments established at more than 50 universities across the United States have inspired students around the world to pitch tents on campuses and demand universities cut ties with apartheid Israel.

The All India Students’ Association (AISA) released a statement on April 28 expressing its support for the encampments and demanding an end to Israel’s genocidal war on Gaza.

It said the encampments “have given a clear message — none of us are free, until all of us are free”.

“We write this letter of solidarity to express our unwavering support to thousands of students across the United States who have been organising the Gaza Solidarity Encampment (sit-in protests) at their universities,” the statement said.

“As we write this letter, from coast to coast, students, staff and faculty members across several universities are braving unprecedented police crackdowns, demanding an end to the complicity of the US government and the US universities in Israel’s genocidal war in Gaza and Palestine.

“Today, the world witnesses one of the worst genocides in recent history, with more than 34,000 Palestinians massacred in besieged Gaza and another hundred killed in the occupied West Bank by Israeli forces.

“In Gaza, universities, schools and libraries — all avenues of education have been destroyed and burned down to ashed by the Israeli forces…”

Meanwhile, “the US government continues to provide more military aid to Israel and the US universities reap blood money from companies that profiteer from the ongoing genocide in Gaza”.

AISA pointed to the wave of repression unleashed by the Narendra Modi regime against pro-Palestine protesters in India. It said the Modi government has close ties with Israel, including an agreement to send Indian youth to work in Israel’s construction sector.

“We demand that the Indian government must immediately terminate all agreements — political, military and economic — with Israel … and ensure an international arms embargo against the apartheid state.”

The statement said the solidarity encampments were part of the global Palestine solidarity movement and are “an inspiration in smashing the global web of complicity” that drives Israel’s genocide in Gaza.

The growing student movements against apartheid Israel are a reminder of “the history of student struggle and the anti-war movements of the 1960–70s against the Vietnam war that challenged US imperialism".

Encampments have spread to universities in Britain, Germany, France, Uruguay, Turkey, Japan and Australia.

“AISA stands shoulder to shoulder with the students, faculty members and staff of all the universities in their struggle and rallying cry for divestment from Israel and an end to the Gaza war.”

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