The student-led movement to end mass atrocities.

STAND Statement of Solidarity With Student Protesters

We stand in solidarity with the students across the country who are peacefully protesting the genocide in Gaza and join them in calling again for a ceasefire, return of all hostages, and end to US complicity in this atrocity.  It was reported last week that Israeli forces had killed more than 40,000 Palestinians since October 7, including more than 15,000 children.  Even conservative estimates place the death toll at 34,000.  As we witness the senseless loss of life and destruction of entire communities, we are both devastated and determined to resist these atrocities and the dehumanization of Palestinians.

As student activists dedicated to fighting atrocities, we are inspired by the students who have committed to protesting the genocide in Gaza and calling for a more free, just, and peaceful world.  We are also concerned by the escalation that has come with this.  We strongly condemn any and all instances of antisemitism, which are deeply harmful to our Jewish family and friends and fundamentally counter to our vision of just peace, but reject the blanket characterization of all student protests as antisemitic.  Such a characterization is willfully ignorant and undermines the intercultural and interfaith solidarity that has been built in a joint commitment to humanity.

Unfortunately, we have also witnessed university and city officials mobilize the carceral state to undermine this movement over the past two weeks.  In these responses, we are reminded of the students in STAND’s early days who were arrested for protesting the genocide in Darfur and strongly reject the use of law enforcement to intimidate and punish people calling for peace.  Then, as now, criticism of government policy was an important use of free speech to engage in our collective self-governance; government suppression of such speech is an anti-democratic crackdown on dissent.  Moreover, the UN reported in 2020 that police violence against Black Americans constituted a crime against humanity, and much of the criminal justice system in the US has roots in systems created to support the atrocity of chattel slavery.  To use these tactics against student protestors, then, is an intersection of atrocities and a reminder that a fight against atrocities in one place must be deeply intertwined with the fights against atrocities all over the world.
If you are are witnessing these protests, we strongly encourage you to consider how you fit into the broader movement for peace and to take a step towards it today — whether that be by learning and educating people about the genocide in Gaza, by joining communities in peaceful protest, or by calling on your officials to support peace and end military aid. Check here for ways to contact different federal officials to ask them to take action.