As the Israeli state escalate their genocidal campaign in Gaza, the York University administration have also ramped up their campaign of silencing the student movement for denouncing this genocide.
On Friday, the administration released a statement offering the student unions two options: either the student union leaderships revoke their support for Palestine and resign, or the administration will dissolve all student unions on campus.
This is a scandalous attack on the democratic rights of freedom of speech and assembly. In their statement, the administration demands the student unions “to reaffirm their commitment to non-violence, [and] anti-discrimination”. Where was this condemnation from the administration when they sanctioned an event on November 20, 2019 that hosted IDF soldiers who were carrying out violence and discrimination against Palestinians in the region?
This comes as no surprise because this unelected administration of millionaires have investments in the arms trade. They have joined the chorus with the capitalist media in suppressing the truth about this genocide. This administration is as complicit in the crimes of the Israeli state as the Canadian government, who have shipped $70 million worth of arms exports to the Israeli state over the last 4 years.
We as communists defend the struggle for Palestinian liberation and a homeland. However, it is critical that Palestine not stand alone. It is in the interest of every worker across the world to support Palestine’s valiant stand against Israeli and American imperialism. Here in Canada, our own government has long played a role in supporting US imperialism abroad. We saw this in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, and now we see it in Palestine. We have a duty to stand in opposition to this.
Last year, YorkU president Rhonda Lenton wrote a letter declaring her solidarity with Ukraine “in their ongoing struggle for freedom and self-determination”. Don’t the oppressed Palestinians deserve the same? It is only when the interests of American imperialism are at stake that this hypocritical administration preaches about self-determination.
It is this same pro-imperialist administration who say that “freedom of speech is not absolute” at York. What right do these people have to police students for opposing the crimes of the Israeli state? Why should an unelected body of millionaires be allowed to remove democratic organizations from campus for supporting Palestine? These attacks show why this administration of imperialist cronies must be replaced with the democratic control of students and teachers, who can run this campus through their democratic organizations.
For the sake of defending the imperialists, this administration is attacking the democratic rights of students and workers on campus.
We urge all students to rally in defence of the YFS, YUGSA and GCSU/AÉC. We call on the CFS and all their union locals to fight back against these unconstitutional attacks by organizing immediate mass mobilizations, escalating towards strike action if necessary. These are the methods through which we can stop these attacks. We are ready to help with any and all such efforts.
We also urge the student unions at York to support the mobilizing efforts of the Palestinian Solidarity collective by bringing out the entire student population for the upcoming emergency rally and future rallies. All student groups must unite with the unions in opposing this administration.
Join the emergency rally for Palestine with the Palestinian Solidarity Collective on Monday, Oct 23 at 2pm in Vari hall!
Join us in condemning this administration and help build the forces of revolutionary solidarity with Palestine!
Students unite against the imperialist YorkU administration!
End the Israeli occupation!
Intifada till victory!