FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 17, 2014
Hundreds Expected to Rally in Support of Students for Justice in Palestine at Northeastern University
Location: Krentzman Quadrangle, Northeastern University stop on MBTA Green Line
Date: Tuesday, March 18th, 10am
Over 200 activists from a broad coalition of human rights and social justice organizations are expected to rally in solidarity with the Northeastern chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) on Tuesday as two students face disciplinary hearings.
The protest is a response to the administration’s suspension of the SJP-Northeastern chapter after months of discriminatory restrictions. Earlier this month, some SJP members distributed a mock eviction notice (clearly marked as not real) similar to those routinely posted on the homes of Palestinians before their homes are demolished. The students’ intention was to raise awareness and promote dialogue about human rights violations. The two SJP members facing sanctions are women of color, while none of the white students who distributed the leaflets have been targeted.
“We condemn the university’s strong-arm tactics as blatant violations of free speech and dangerous attempts to suppress academic debate on campus,” said Lisa Stampnitzky, a member Jewish Voice for Peace-Boston, one of the co-sponsoring organizations.
Jewish Voice for Peace-Boston also rejected attempts to label SJP or its members as anti-Semitic based upon their criticism of Israeli policies, protests of Israeli military, or promotion of boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) against Israel. “Jews and Israelis themselves hold a wide range of views on Israel, and there is nothing anti-Semitic about supporting human rights for all peoples,” said Rabbi Joseph Berman of JVP.
“Northeastern caved to behind-the-scenes pressure,” said Stampnitzky. “The administration has shown that it cares more about potential donors and powerful outside organizations that have put pressure on it than it does about its students’ rights to free speech.”
Co-sponsors of this rally include: Jewish Voice for Peace Boston, Team Solidarity- the Voice of United School Bus Union Workers , United for Justice with Peace, Massachusetts Peace Action, Vermonters for a Just Peace in Israel/Palestine, Boston University Students for Justice in Palestine, Brandeis University Students for Justice in Palestine, Suffolk Students for Justice in Palestine, Harvard Palestine Solidarity Committee, New Hampshire Palestine Education Network, Brown Students for Justice in Palestine, Tufts Students for Justice in Palestine, Boston Coalition for Palestinian Rights, Community Church of Boston, North Shore Coalition for Peace and Justice, Boston College Students for Justice in Palestine, Women’s Fight Back Network, Maine Voices for Palestinian Rights, Saints Francis & Therese Catholic Worker of Worcester, Youth Against Mass Incarceration, National Lawyers Guild- Northeastern University School of Law Chapter, Unitarian Universalists for Justice in the Middle East- Massachusetts Chapter