Showing posts with label Palestine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Palestine. Show all posts

Monday, May 6, 2024

Wikipedia Community Documents Pro-Palestinian Protests on University and College Campuses

On April 22, 2024, the Wikipedia community began building an article titled 2024 pro-Palestinian protests on university campuses. The article includes a timeline on an estimated 120 campus protests and occupations that first started at Brown University in November 2023. On May 3, 2024, the list of pro-Palestinian protests on university campuses in 2024 was created

As of May 6, more than 120 writers and editors have been involved in the Wikipedia project making more than 1100 edits. Editors are restricted to those who have shown a record of following with community rules. The article has received about 33,000 views so far. On May 3, the original article received a peak number of views, more than 10,000 for the day. The number of views of the second article, the list, continues to grow.  

Events Preceding the Student Protests 

Demonstrations which began in Europe and the US in October 2023 moved onto college campuses and expanded internationally.  

The protests are in response to tens of thousands of Palestinian civilians being killed and a half million facing famine.  The US media has generally avoided discussing the larger picture: of  US, European, and Arab nations over the last seven decades, and their role in the forced migration and containment of Palestinians in what has been termed an "open air prison" in Gaza.  US history includes similar elements of inhumanity and oppression

In January 2024, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) said it is "plausible" that Tel Aviv was committing genocide in Gaza, ordering Israel to stop such acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians.  An order that Israel has rejected.

In March 2024, United Nations Special Rapporteur Francesca Albanese said of the Israeli actions that “There are reasonable grounds to believe that the threshold indicating the commission of the crime of genocide…has been met.” 

Outcomes During and After the Demonstrations

In an attempt to quell the university and college protests in the US, more than 2,700 people have been arrested, to include students and university professors. An unknown number of students have also been expelled with limited due process. Media have been restricted access to protest sites.

Despite the documented horrors in Gaza, the US public has generally not supported the protests. And the US government continues to send arms, and money for arms, to Israel. Pro-Palestinian protesters have been labeled as radicals and antisemitic, even though many of them are Jewish. 

Student demands for divestment from Israel and from US arms makers have been discussed, but no material changes have occurred. Israel is planning to invade the city Rafah, which is likely to end in more deaths and suffering, but the US has mentioned no consequences if civilian body counts are high. Internationally, Israel is facing greater isolation, and its leaders are being accused of war crimes. 

Time will tell whether these articles will be reflective of a short-lived situation or part a larger social movement. The 76-year genocide in Palestine, the unintended consequences of the Jewish genocide during the 1930s and 1940s, will not be going away. 

For more than a century, student protests have been a part of US history and social consciousness, sometimes forgotten, but often reflecting progressive thinking (civil rights, peace, divestment from apartheid, fighting climate change).  

Related links:

One Fascism or Two?: The Reemergence of "Fascism(s)" in US Higher Education