Palestinian students from An-Najah National and Bir Zeit Universities visiting New York City as part of the Right to Education tour currently taking place across the United States joined Samidoun and fellow International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) members Al-Awda NY, BAYAN USA, International Action Center and Palestinian Youth Movement for a discussion and gathering.
Hosted by New York City Students for Justice in Palestine, the visiting students spoke of various aspects of the Zionist occupation impeding and undermining Palestinian education and life. “Political activity isn’t a choice in Palestine. Our lives are political,” said one student. In particular, they highlighted the targeting of Palestinian students with arrests, detention and imprisonment based on allegations of political affiliation with “prohibited organizations,” and the use of administrative detention against students. As Palestinian student elections are nearing, there is once again an escalation in the repression and imprisonment of Palestinian student activists.
The students also discussed shared experiences of colonization and oppression with other liberation struggles, including the people’s movement in the Philippines and others. Said BAYAN USA, “We learned that our struggles are interconnected and that our oppressors are the same.”
This gathering took place in New York City while ILPS is convening its International Coordinating Committee meeting in the Netherlands, in which Samidoun ICC representative Mohammed Khatib participated.
Top photo: BAYAN USA, all other photos: Joe Catron