Occupations and Protests

Seems like the late 60’s are back with all the protests at universities and elsewhere over the continuing genocide in Gaza by Israel. And the protests have now also come to encompass art exhibits, fairs, museums, and galleries. Also back is the right wing outrage and police/military over-reactions against these political protests. Hopefully nothing will escalate to the level of students being shot at by armed government forces over political discourse. Seems like the lessons of Kent State and Jackson State have been lost on new generations with many in authority calling for National Guard and police to forcibly eject protesters from their campuses when they are just peacefully occupying school grounds over a legitimate social issue. Not so legitimate is the illegal and endless occupation of disputed territory by Israel and the tactics they employ to displace and humiliate their Arab neighbors with the tacit approval or participation of their government. The Israeli occupation is terrorism and resistance to it is justified but they loudly cry antisemitism and terrorism when those oppressed take action against them. This is by no means meant to serve as an excuse for kidnapping or hostage taking. However, the Israeli state even cries about discrimination against them by anyone who vocally opposes their now theocratic, militaristic, and racist regime. Their stupid argument about entitlement to the lands through passages in mythological literature like the Bible is patently outrageous as was British partition of the territory through colonialism. All parties should immediately call for a ceasefire, appoint a commission to develop a viable Palestinian state, and free all the hostages and political prisoners. But to continue with the topic, much to my surprise, these anti-war protests have even reached the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, and as alumni I received official communication from them trying to justify violence against the protesters. Here’s what I have to say to present ‘president’ Tenny and ‘provost’ Berger… you’re a disgrace to your own artist’s freedom of speech and liberty of ideas by ordering police unto the premises with excuse of protecting students. Grow a spine and practice your own discourse of artistic freedom or close the school. Pay attention to the message of the protesters that it is time that international pressure force Israel to abandon their half-century old occupation, accept a Palestinian state, and aspire to be a true democratic model in the Middle East.