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United Students Against Sweatshops

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Organizing for Student and Worker Power
Updated: 1 week 20 hours ago

USAS Says Free Palestine!

Mon, 01/29/2024 - 14:24

USAS says Free Palestine! United Students Against Sweatshops stands with the demands of the Shut It Down for Palestine Coalition, which are a permanent ceasefire, the lift the siege on Gaza now, the release of all Palestinian prisoners, the end to the occupation now, and the end of US complicity in Zionism.

Collective liberation, the understanding that no one is free until we are all free, has consistently been a core principle of USAS. Collective liberation in action means that that our organizing expands beyond the workplace. USASers organize in all movements for justice fighting against white supremacy, militarism, patriarchy and in this case: imperialism. Palestinian oppression is inextricably linked to capitalism and imperialism. It is from this that Israel gains wealth and implements a capitalist system that oppresses Palestinian people and exploits their land.

The foundation of Israel was built on the goal of erasing Arabs from the labor economy and replacing them to further settler colonialism, also known as the “conquest of labor” by early pioneer Zionists. Israel currently functions on top of an exploited Palestinian labor force who are particularly vulnerable to poor working conditions and lack of social benefits. Approximately 30,000-40,000 Palestinians work without permits and thus without the protection of Israeli labor law. In October, a coalition of Palestinian trade unions released a statement calling for international solidarity from the labor movement. Today, unions in the United States, such as the UAW, SEIU and Starbucks Workers United, have released statements supporting a ceasefire. Workers across the United States are striking and showing solidarity with Palestinians, emphasizing that the labor movement is a global movement. By disrupting business as usual, workers have the power to challenge institutions that fund ethnic cleansing abroad.

Students are in a unique position of power: We pay tuition and can form relationships with university workers to organize together! The same universities that have been the target of divestment campaigns are the same universities that exploit their workers and engage in union-busting. As such, student organizers have historically played a massive role in social movements on both the domestic and international level, such as the Civil Rights movement, various anti-war movements, etc… Organizing at universities is uniquely important because these institutions operate as significant political and economic forces, ranging from gentrification to lobbying. There is a direct relationship between the industry of higher education and the military industrial complex.

Students have always been at the forefront of movements. Every year, we pay thousands in tuition to institutions that, more often than not, completely ignore or stifle their demands and needs. More than ever, students, like those at Columbia University, have stepped up and followed the rich history that we, students, have of fighting for the divestment of military contractors and the liberation of oppressed peoples. Working class and oppressed students understand that we have more shared experience with Palestinians, than we do with wealthy administrations trying to placate the military contractors that fund these institutions. STUDENTS ARE BEING SILENCED BECAUSE OUR VOICES HOLD THE MOST WEIGHT AND IMPORTANCE. UNIVERSITIES WOULD NOT EXIST WITHOUT OUR MONEY!

Join the Movement to Free Palestine!

To keep up to date with the daily actions across the country in support of Palestine, visit shutitdown4palestine.org and join the following organizations:

Categories: C4. Radical Labor

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