Statement in Support of Student Protestors and Recommitment to BDS Read

Statement in Support of Student Protestors and Recommitment to BDS 

The Association for Asian American Studies writes to strongly support and affirm students, communities, and campus protestors in their call for an end to complicity in Palestinian genocide. As an association that only exists because of historic struggle and protest for racial justice, third world liberation, and student activism, we offer our support and solidarity.

The counts of Palestinian deaths continue to increase, and all universities in Gaza have been destroyed. Students, faculty, and community members who have spoken out against genocide have faced intimidation, surveillance, doxxing, violence, and death threats. Students and faculty of color, particularly Arab and Muslim scholars, have been disproportionately singled out and harassed. 

As we witness the violence that has continued to unfold at an unprecedented rate in Gaza for the last 215 days, we have watched our students interrupt business as usual and bravely occupy university spaces to demand transparency about university finances and divestment from the military industrial complex and the state of Israel. We affirm their demands for an end to the Israeli siege of Palestine and for their own universities to reject complicity with the U.S.-funded Israeli settler occupation of Gaza. We condemn the use of military and police force against our students and communities and call for university administrators to protect our students from harassment, violent attacks, and reprisals. 

We condemn the multiple violent repressive actions by various university administrations across the nation who are using police brutality to crush the encampments. We call on our colleagues to support student protestors, particularly those who have been arrested and/or been put under school disciplinary processes. We condemn the institutional silencing of student protestors whose ongoing work at world-building inspires the revolutionary basis of our field and our association.

We reaffirm our commitment to the principles of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement. Recognizing the toll on our South West Asian and North African (SWANA) colleagues that has only multiplied in the last year, we recommit to “honor the call of Palestinian civil society for a boycott of Israeli academic institutions.” We re-dedicate ourselves to “suppor[t] the protected rights of students and scholars everywhere to engage in research and public speaking about Israel-Palestine and in support of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.” We re-commit to the field’s origins as an anti-racist organization dedicated to examining how displacement, dispossession and colonialism bind the histories and struggles of our diasporas.