Socialist Alternative

What Next For Gaza Solidarity Movement?

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The radical campus protest movement against the Israeli state’s genocidal war on the people of Gaza has spread like wildfire from the original encampment at Columbia to schools all across the country, and around the world. Socialist Alternative stands in solidarity with the courageous students who have faced suspension, expulsion, arrest, and physical assault to challenge the support of the US capitalist class, including university administrators, for the murderous Israeli regime. 

Students Face Repression & Brutality

The US ruling class has responded to the protests, in many cases, with absolutely vicious police repression, showing the panicked state it is in. The situation in the Middle East threatens to spiral completely out of control for the interests of US imperialism. All-out war between Iran and Israel, and the prospect that a ground invasion in Rafah sparks mass protests in the fragile US-backed regimes in Jordan and Egypt are enough to keep the strategists of US capitalism awake at night. The last thing they need is a determined student protest movement that risks spreading into broader society.

The protests spreading out of the campuses is exactly what is needed to bring pressure on the Biden administration to a boiling point. An organized mass movement uniting students, working class people, and unions would have the potential to wield the most powerful weapon that working people have over the ruling class: going on strike. 

In some areas, student protesters are beginning to coordinate across campuses, which is extremely important. National assemblies with representatives from all campus protests should be organized to coordinate next steps, which could include a national day of action inviting students and working people to join the movement with mass marches and rallies. Campus unions can play a big role. At least one campus union, UAW 4811 at the University of California, has called for a strike vote in support of the student protesters. Campus union representatives need to be part of a broader organization of campus protesters, and rally their membership to join the movement. 

The Two Party System Won’t Stop War

To continue to build the movement over the summer, protests should seize the biggest stage: the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in August. With the historic protests of the 1968 DNC in Chicago already being referenced in media articles, mass protests at this year’s event would make a major breakthrough in terms of national and international attention. 

Working people are frustrated and angry with Biden for a whole host of reasons: rising prices, unaffordable housing, inaction on abortion, as well as his support for the continuing slaughter in Gaza. A massive turnout in Chicago in August could help bring the focus on the need to reject Biden and Trump in November. Socialist Alternative argues that working people should vote for the strongest left independent candidate this November, and that we need a new political party that is independent of the Democrats and Republicans, and that stands unabashedly for a left, pro-working class, anti-imperialist program.

The inspiring movement that students have led, in the face of vicious repression and an over-the-top ideological campaign smearing them all as anti-semitic, has grabbed attention worldwide on the genocidal war on Gaza and how ordinary people can fight to stop it. Now the task is to broaden the movement into the wider working class and especially the unions. If a mass movement of students and workers develops on a higher plane to stop the flow of profits with mass strikes in the US, a bigger, more coordinated worldwide revolt against the Israeli state and its backers in US and European imperialism can bring the war on Gaza to an end.  

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