Address to the Students at the U Penn Palestine Solidarity Encampment

by Mumia Abu-Jamal

Sisters, comrades, what are you doing? What are all of you doing? And ahy are you being punished and threatened by the state? Think about that.

If you think about it, you see, it is obvious as it is shocking. You are protesting against genocide, protesting against mega-violence, paid for, in large part, by American taxpayers who are buying the weapons used by the state of Israel to punish the people of Gaza.

 

Notice I said, “Punish the people of Gaza.”  This is not, in my estimation, a war between Hamas and Israel;  it’s a war between Israel and the people of Gaza, the people of Palestine. If eighty percent of your targets are not members of Hamas, then either you don’t know how to shoot, or you intend to hit what you hit, you intend to bomb what you bomb, you intend to kill who you kill.

 

Think about this, my first question to you – you are being punished for protesting Genocide. Who has the right to punish you for doing this? What you are doing is the rightest thing in the world. Think about it. The state itself is buying, or selling I should say, two-ton bombs for Israel to drop on the homes, the universities, the schools, the mosques, the stores, the apartment complexes, the homes, and now the tents, of Gaza. Who is on the side of right, and who is on the side of wrong?

 

These are questions that you have to grapple with, and you have to understand the nature of the state, the nature of the United States, the nature of client states, the nature of settler colonialism. It depersonalizes, dehumanizes, disappears, destroys, and really treats the Palestinians as things or not human beings. But you all know this. If you didn’t know that human beings are suffering indescribably, that today they are the wretched of the earth, if you didn’t know that, then you wouldn’t be here. You’re there because your hearts, your minds, your souls, have been touched, and moved to take to the streets, to build an encampment, and to fight for the lives of Palestinians, for the liberation of a people, in Palestine

 

For that, you shouldn’t be punished, you should be awarded – you are doing the most human thing you can do. The administrators are going to say.., I have an idea, but I don’t know, I don’t know what your government is going to say… I have an idea, but I don’t know. As for me, I am going to commend all of you for doing the work of saving the lives of the most oppressed people in this era.

 

I thank you all and I love you all.

 

[Crowd: We love you!]

 

With love, not Phear, This is Mumia Abu-Jamal

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