The National Guard and militarized police forces have been called out against campus encampments against genocide in Gaza at Columbia University in NY, USC here in Los Angeles, the University of Texas in “liberal” Austin, and elsewhere around the country.

As Change Links went to press, racist, fascist Zionist thugs in large numbers entered the campus of UCLA and viciously attacked a pro-Palestinian, anti-genocide encampment there while campus police, private security guards and the LAPD stood by. No arrests were made of the violent vigilantes, but the UCLA admin used them as an excuse to shut down the encampment, with LAPD sweeping in to dismantle the encampment forcefully.

On the eve of the anniversary of the killing of peace protesters at Kent State in Ohio by the National Guard and Black student demonstrators at Jackson State by Mississippi state police, administrators and politicians appear to have forgotten that the repression of the late 60s and 1970s swelled the ranks of anti-war activism on campuses across the country. Signs of the same response, with anti-genocide peace encampments spreading to dozens of campuses across the country, their ranks swelled by opposition to fascists and state violence,  is a positive indication that something similar is happening again.

Key will be to unite struggles against repression and for freedom of speech with movements for an end to settler colonialism and genocide, support for racial justice, migrant rights, a transformational response to the climate crisis, and workers’ power into an anti-imperialist united front that can put the capitalist system and its political puppets in both parties on the defensive.

Reciprocity and mutual aid between campus, community, peace and labor movements will be pivotal. At UCLA, graduate student workers organized in the United Auto Workers, who struck and won union recognition and a contract, had vowed that the UAW will defend the encampment from further fascist provocations and violence, but the local reneged on this commitment, and allowed LAPD to enter the encampment from a campus building and dismantle it.

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