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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Op-ed: Introducing the Coalition for Palestinian Liberation at Tufts

Our mission:

The Coalition for Palestinian Liberation at Tufts is a coalition of student organizations fighting for a free Palestine by demanding action from our institutions. As we engage in the long work to end Tufts’ complicity, we also rally students to demand an immediate ceasefire, an end to the siege on Gaza and an end to all aid from the so-called U.S. to apartheid Israel. We believe there is nothing more powerful than community and solidarity, and we reject the attempts of those in power to divide, isolate and intimidate us. CPLT aims to learn from one another and educate the student body on how our struggles are deeply intertwined. We believe that the liberation of Palestine is connected to the liberation of all oppressed people and thus seek an end to all interlocking systems of oppression through collective action and solidarity. We stand proud as we build on a rich history of student organizing, including the 12-year struggle for Tufts to fully divest from apartheid South Africa. Together, we are growing student power and will not stop until the university heeds to all our demands and divests from Israeli apartheid.

Our vision:

We envision a free Palestine, from the river to the sea, in which Palestinians experience the right to return and self-determination; the apartheid wall is dismantled; and the siege on Gaza ends and apartheid Israel no longer occupies any colonized lands. We envision a world liberated from colonialism, imperialism and all connected systems of oppression, in which all people live in freedom, dignity and safety.

Our values:

We position ourselves as part of a global movement to organize all oppressed peoples in resistance and solidarity toward collective liberation. This movement is necessarily committed to abolition, decolonization and transnational feminism. From Kashmir to Congo, our coalition understands the devastation caused by colonial projects and refuses to stand idly by amid U.S.-backed genocide in Palestine.

We are committed to fighting Islamophobia, antisemitism and racism in all its forms, including anti-Indigenous, anti-Black, anti-Palestinian and anti-Arab racism. We recognize all these forms of oppression as products of white supremacy and seek an end to the imperialist, colonial, capitalist systems that uphold them.

We believe in the right to return, LAND BACK and the right of all Indigenous peoples to self-determination, from Moananuiākea, Abya Yala and Turtle Island to Palestine. We must work in solidarity with all Indigenous peoples who are and always have been resisting settler colonialism.

We believe that we keep each other safe. The safety that police, prisons and militarism claim to provide is a thin veil for the violence they use to uphold the subjugation of oppressed peoples. As echoed by the 2020 TCU student body referendum which voted to end the deadly exchange between TUPD and the Israeli military and the 2017 TCU resolution to divest from weapons manufacturers that arm Israeli apartheid, we believe that true collective safety requires divestment from prisons, police, war and colonialism and investment in causes such as healthcare, housing justice and environmental justice here in the U.S.

We reject the attempts by mainstream Western media outlets and institutions to manufacture consent for war and distract from the genocide in Palestine by vilifying those standing with Palestinians, deliberately conflating anti-Zionism with antisemitism and using excessive police presence, especially on college campuses. We affirm our solidarity with all students and Palestinian youth who are bravely moving us closer to liberation.

We are committed to community care, relationship building and organizing student power without hierarchy. We hold ourselves accountable to grow and strengthen solidarity.

Our demands are as follows:

1: We demand an immediate ceasefire and an end to the siege on Gaza and all U.S. aid to Israel.

2: We demand that University President Kumar condemn the genocide in Gaza; apologize for the harm he caused by refusing to acknowledge Palestinian lives and by peddling anti-Arab, Islamophobic, anti-Indigenous rhetoric; and commit to providing better institutional support for Palestinian, Arab and Muslim students.

3: We demand Tufts disclose its direct and indirect investments and comply with the 2017 TCU resolution by fully divesting from any companies that fund Israeli apartheid. This includes corporations that provide weapons and technology for Israel’s occupation and genocide, such as Elbit Systems, Northrop Grumann, HP, Caterpillar and others named in the resolution.

4: We demand Tufts end all ties to Israeli institutions that aid the ongoing occupation of Palestine, including but not limited to, sponsored trips and research collaborations with Israeli universities.

To all students of conscience who believe in freedom, dignity and safety for all, we invite you to join us in amplifying these demands. As you read this, Gaza has become a graveyard for children as the apartheid state continues its collective punishment through massacres of schools, hospitals and refugee camps. Israel has murdered over 11,000 Palestinians since Oct. 7 and forcibly displaced over 1.5 million more as the suffocating siege continues to block life-saving food, water, fuel and medical supplies from entering Gaza. The Israeli government is arming settlers to commit violent pogroms and escalating arbitrary arrests in the occupied West Bank, amassing thousands of political prisoners. Palestinian citizens of Israel are being subjected to ongoing surveillance, harassment and arbitrary arrests, and many have lost their jobs or have been expelled from their universities for being in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.

As people living in the heart of the U.S. empire, whose tax and tuition dollars are funding the ongoing genocide and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, we have an obligation to ensure there can be no business as usual right now. On Nov. 9, CPLT participated in the international call to SHUT IT DOWN for Palestine by occupying the Campus Center for ten hours. In addition to engaging hundreds of students in rallies, sit-ins, phone banking, walk-outs and teach-ins, this action was a moving demonstration of organized student power and the ever-growing, far-reaching commitment to Palestinian liberation on campus. Our collective voices will only continue to grow until our demands are met and until Palestine is free.

In love and solidarity,

indigenous students organization at tufts (@tufts.isot)

Alternative Jews at Tufts (@altj.tufts)

African Student Organization (@tufts_aso)

Arab Students Association (@tuftsasa)

Eritrean and Ethiopian Students Association (@tuftseesa)

Fletcher Students for Palestine

Pan-Afrikan Alliance (@tuftspaa)

Revolutionary Marxist Students (@marxist_students)

Muslim Students Association (@tuftsmsa)

South Asian Political Action Community (@sapactufts)

Students for Justice in Palestine (@sjptufts)

Tufts Asian Student Coalition (@tascgram)

Tufts Labor Coalition (@tuftslabor)

If your student organization would like to join CPLT, or if you are a faculty or staff member and you would like to collaborate, please message us.