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New Orleans: Students, alumni destroy degrees and awards after destruction of Palestine encampment

By Carson Cruse

Pro-Palestine students and alumni destroy awards and diplomas.  | Fight Back! News/staff

New Orleans, LA – On May 7, Tulane and Loyola Students for a Democratic Society held a rally where students and alumni to destroyed awards and degrees they received from the pro-genocide institutions.

This action was held six days after over 100 state troopers in riot gear attacked the Tulane and Loyola Popular University for Palestine encampment, brutalizing and arresting 14 people. The demands included full disclosure and divestment of university investments, dropping the suspensions and conduct charges faced by students for protesting, and written apologies to those arrested at the encampment.

As SDS members led chants like “Disclose, divest, we will not stop we will not rest!” and “Loyola, Tulane, you can’t hide, you’re supporting genocide!” attendees brought forth plaques, degrees, graduation gowns, and other university merchandise for destruction. Loyola and Tulane police gathered in large numbers behind barricades to intimidate the crowd. Tulane erected fifteen-foot fences around the front lawn to prevent future expressions of free speech and cut itself off from the community it claims to support.

“I was awarded the outstanding sophomore student leader award last Thursday and the following Wednesday I was arrested for practicing those leadership skills I had just been praised and applauded for. I am proof that you are only allowed to exist in the box they created for you to exist in. The academic institution is not your friend. The moment you step out of the box, you become enemies,” said Juleea Berthelot, a Loyola SDS member.

Others explained the double standard that exists between university treatment of pro-Palestine activists and Zionist, pro-genocide advocates. “I am disgusted by [President] Fitts not acknowledging how Black and brown students are attacked by their lovely Zionist students that [Tulane] will always protect. I am tired of the ignorance, and I am tired of mine and other’s voices not being heard” said Anthony Franklin from Tulane SDS.

Despite the repression of the student movement, the struggle has only reached new heights and steeled the determination of student organizers. Tulane and Loyola administrators have exposed themselves as tools of the U.S. an Israel , uniting students against their pro-genocide agenda.

#NewOrleansLA #LA #AntiWarMovement #International #MiddleEast #Palestine #StudentMovement #SDS