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Washington DC universities join Palestine student encampment on GW’s campus

By Jon Abraham

Student encampment for Palestine at George Washington University. | Fight Back! News/staff

Washington, DC — On April 25, at 5 a.m., students from Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) chapters from multiple DC universities took to George Washington University’s campus and started a Washington DC student encampment for Palestine.

George Washington University has been criticized for repressing its Palestinian students and their allies on campus while defending both on and off-campus Zionists. The university called the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) to intimidate the students and start the sweep of the encampment. The MPD then sent out a notice to all students ordering their dispersal at 7 p.m.. In response, the organizers in DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) SJP made a call for increased community mobilization to stave off the police. Within a few hours, the DC community mobilized to support the encampment in the thousands. At its peak, around 2000 people were on campus at the event, chanting and supporting the students. University faculty and alumni from multiple DC universities formed a barrier between students and the police.

Because of this mass mobilization effort, 7 p.m. came and went; the police did not follow through on their dispersal order, instead waiting until late in the evening, when people had started to go home, to try to sweep the encampment.

As of April 26, the encampment is still standing, and the community continues to rally around the four demands of the students, which are for the university to one, disclose how their endowment is spent; two, divest from all companies and partnerships who participate in the colonization and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people; three, defend Palestine activism which has been repressed and censored, and four, declare the Zionist occupation, colonization and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people and the U.S.-Israeli genocide on Gaza illegal and indefensible.

There were many community organizations present, participating in teach-ins and protests, including the Palestinian Youth Movement, Anakbayan DC, the DC Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (DCAARPR), and many more.

A member of DCAARPR stated in their speech, “We are engaged in an act of rebellion. This moment of struggle on GW’s campus is a powerful thread in the worldwide struggle against Zionism and, by extension, American imperialism. The student movement has always been at the forefront of anti-imperialist struggles, and who has always been called as the first line of defense against them? The police!” This was followed by the masses of people chanting in unison, “MPD, KKK, IOF, they’re all the same!”.

The students continue to call for community mobilization and support in the D.C. area.

#WashingtonDC #StudentMovement #SDS #AntiWarMovement #International #MiddleEast #Palestine #DCAARPR #PYM #Anakbayan #GWU