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Tulane SDS statement on battery of Tulane student by Professor Walter Isaacson

By staff

Walter Isaacson grabs Rory MacDonald's arm and pushes them. | Fight Back! News/staff

Fight Back News Service is circulating the following March 14 statement from Tulane Students for a Democratic Society (SDS).

Official Statement on Battery of Tulane Student by Professor Walter Isaacson

On March 13th, a Tulane student and member of Students for a Democratic Society, Rory Macdonald, was assaulted by Walter Isaacson, a Tulane professor and board member. Macdonald was protesting a Tulane-sponsored New Orleans Entrepreneurship Week panel titled “Energy Innovation at Scale” featuring Louisiana State University, ExxonMobil, and Halliburton. Isaacson, an audience member, grabbed Rory and cursed at them, battering them and leaving them with bruises on their arm and scratches on their back. The encounter was captured in multiple videos. Tulane has done nothing to protect Arab students and members of SDS from repeated harassment and threats from Zionist students, and now one of our members has been assaulted by a member of the faculty.

ExxonMobil, Halliburton, Tulane University and LSU are all benefiting financially off of the genocide of Palestinians, in which more than 30,000 Palestinians have now been killed. Tulane and LSU are partners in the US-Israel Energy Center, an agreement in which they are providing scientists and research to help Israel steal natural gas from the Gaza Marine Field in order to process it into “liquid natural gas” in Louisiana. The panel was also the result of a partnership between Tulane University and Idea Village, which is working to create an “Innovation Embassy” agreement between the Port of New Orleans and the Port of Ashdod in Israel. An “Innovation Embassy” between Israel and Barcelona brought in surveillance technology and biased policing methods which would disproportionately harm African Americans in New Orleans.

We are calling on Tulane University to publicly denounce Walter Isaacson for violently battering a student. We are calling on Walter Isaacson to resign from his post. We are calling on Tulane to acknowledge the violence against Students for a Democratic Society that it has encouraged with its silence. We are calling on Tulane to disclose how their endowment is invested and divest from Israeli corporations and corporations that sell weapons or fuel to Israel. Finally, we are calling on Tulane to put institutional protections for Arab and Palestinian students in place.

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