RUTGERS ADMINISTRATION AGREES TO EIGHT DEMANDS PUT FORTH BY ENCAMPMENT PROTESTS

Rutgers

RUTGERS ADMINISTRATION AGREES TO EIGHT DEMANDS PUT FORTH BY ENCAMPMENT PROTESTS

We are proud to announce that as a result of our 4-day encampment, the Rutgers – New Brunswick administration has committed to implementing eight of our demands shown below. This is a vigorous
battle that has spanned years. In just this academic year, we have been suspended for our organizing and remain on probation, passed a landslide divestment resolution across our three campuses, and passed a precedent-setting definition of anti-Palestinian racism. Moreover, this recent encampment was our second such effort in the past three weeks.

Though we forced the University to cancel 28 finals and were ready to face arrest and brutalization, because of our recent organizing efforts and the student efforts which preceded us, we were able to achieve these goals while protecting our student community from threats of abuse, arrest, suspension, and expulsion by the administration. We are hopeful that these steps will provide material support to Gazan students and bring our campus closer to Palestine. In the near future, we will study alongside the ten displaced Gazan students that Rutgers – New Brunswick has committed to accepting on full
scholarship, some of whom we anticipate will be our family members. Many of us are excited for the opportunity to study abroad at Birzeit University – an opportunity to go home, the West Bank, for the first time – and likewise welcome Birzeit students to our New Brunswick campus. We are now strides closer to becoming a University that affirms the Palestinians and our Palestinian identity, which has been ignored, repressed, and subject to racial discrimination by the Rutgers administration at large.

While we are proud of our achievements, we remain firm that our commitment is to divestment and the termination of our University’s partnership with Tel Aviv University. This is a commitment we cannot, and will not, give up on as we feel strongly that these are the most material actions our University can take to end its complicity in Israel’s racial-colonial subjugation and genocide of Palestinians. Our decision to end our encampment without achieving these demands reflects our strategic logic regarding building power on campus by laying structural groundwork to not only grow our ranks but to shift the political climate across Rutgers. Moreover, the administration has committed to coordinate a meeting between its Joint Committee on Investments and our organizers. This is significant given that we have been asking for this meeting for the past five years. We are entirely committed to continue agitating for full divestment until total victory, and to continue agitating for Palestine until liberation.

We stand in firm solidarity with the encampments at Rutgers – Newark, UCLA, Columbia, MIT, Northeastern, and the 150+ other encampments organized across the country. Students like us have been brutalized and subject to insurmountable repression for struggling toward universities that no longer support the genocide of Palestinians. We furthermore are in solidarity and will be extending our full support and care to our community members who faced Zionist harassment at our encampment. In particular we will be putting our efforts behind support for Rokaia Safri, who was punched in the face yesterday by a Zionist lawyer named John Kovac who came to our encampment with the intention to harass student campers, and continue to demand that the Rutgers administration take action against increasing Zionist violence on our campus.

We will further continue our efforts by joining the Rutgers – Newark encampments, as our struggle at Rutgers does not end at New Brunswick. All and any resources or knowledge we have acquired through our encampment will be directed towards the effort at Newark, and we encourage all other members of our community to join the encampments as well.

Thank you to all of those who contributed their time, hearts, donations, and bodies to our effort. This accomplishment could not have been possible without the support of our community who came ready to stand and camp in solidarity with Palestine. We are forever grateful to have been blessed with such a loving community, and will continue to hold space for all of those who showed up for us. Our work is not done.

Until liberation,

The Students for Justice in Palestine at Rutgers – New Brunswick

The Endowment Justice Collective

RUTGERS – NEW BRUNSWICK ACCEPTED EIGHT OF OF OUR TEN DEMANDS TO:

1. Accept at least 10 displaced Gazan students to study at Rutgers University on scholarship.

2. Provide resources for Palestinian and Arab students in the form of an Arab Cultural Center.

3. Establish a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a long-term educational and collaboration partnership with Birzeit University, Ramallah, Palestine – in accordance with precedent set by William Paterson University.

4. Name “Palestine” and “Palestinians” in all future communications related to Israeli aggressions in Palestine (as opposed to “Middle East” “Gaza region” etc.), and release a statement from the Office of the President acknowledging the ongoing genocide against Palestinians, its impact on the Palestinian community at our university, and advocating for a ceasefire.

5. Hire senior administrators with cultural competency and knowledge about Arabs, Palestinians, Muslims, anti-Palestinian racism, and Islamophobia.

6. Hire additional professors specializing in Palestine studies and Middle East studies and establish a path to departmentalization for Middle East studies.

7. Display the flags of occupied peoples – including but not limited to Palestinians, Kurds, and Kashmiris – in all areas displaying international flags.

8. Provide amnesty for all students, student groups, faculty, and staff penalized for exercising their First Amendment right to protest Rutgers University’s support for Israeli human rights violations, and voice support for faculty and staff who have been publicly targeted for exercising their academic freedom

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