The information below comes directly from YouTube. My only original commentary was the title of the article. Did this “exercise” of free speech warrant physical action? At some point, we have to stop hanging our heads and appeasing attacks. We now see that hope is not enough and we must act before it is hopeless. We have to stop sparing the rod and spoiling the child across the entire spectrum. We have to hold our heads high and stand up for ourselves and principles when honor demands it.
The students’ point in attacking Israel and disrupting the meeting was Israeli apartheid policy? I would have liked for the students to be arrested and sentenced to one hour each with a holocaust survivor. We also have to ask where these “students” are getting their information and for what purpose.
For anyone who questions my position, click here.
On February 23rd during a public lecture by Nonie Darwish, members of the audience assaulted a number of UNM students. The public lecture, which began at 7PM in the Anthropology lecture hall, was attend by some UNM students who exercised their right to freedom of speech by vocally protesting the against the opinions put forward by Darwish. When the students raised their voices a number of audience members proceeded to get out of their seats and use force against the students. One of the students was hit in the face, another had her hair pulled, and many were pushed and shoved. One of the students caught much of these events on film before another audience member forcibly pushed down her camera. The students were then forced out of the auditorium and quickly called the UNM police who arrived and filed a report.
These students were assaulted on UNM campus for simply trying to make their voices heard and it is a shock that a non-violent action was met with such aggression.
STATEMENT FROM UNM STUDENTS FOR JUSTICE IN PALESTINE: SJP expresses gratitude to groups across the nation and the world who have shown their support for UNM Students for Justice in Palestine(SJP) and the students and members of (Un)Occupy Albuquerque who were brave enough to actively reject the normalization of Islamophobia and human rights violations.
Though SJP was not a part of the planning process, we fully support the Mic-Check of Nonie Darwish’s lecture, “Why the Arab Spring is failing and how Israel is involved.” Students and members of (Un)Occupy spoke up in solidarity with Palestine and against Islamophobic propaganda. We are appalled and disturbed by the physical assault by audience members on the peaceful activists. These actions are reflective of a growing trend of physical violence by people who deny Israeli’s illegal occupation of Palestinian land.
Despite the discouraging nature of a violent response to a non-violent demonstration, we will use this incident to shine a light on the persistent appropriation of Palestinian land and resources. SJP sincerely hopes that violent reactions like these will not be replicated during Israeli Apartheid Week or in any future actions in solidarity with the Palestinian people.
Again, we are grateful for the overwhelming national and international shows of support and enduring commitment to non-violent action.
With Love & Solidarity,
UNM Students for Justice in Palestine
STATEMENT FROM (Un)Occupy Albuquerque: Three people, including UNM students, were attacked by pro-Israeli members on Wednesday night for mic-checking Nonie Darwish, a self-proclaimed human rights activist who was on UNM campus to deliver a talk on the Arab Springs.
Darwish cast the Arab Spring in a bad light. She argued that democratic revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa, such as those in Egypt and Tunisia, would not succeed as long as Islamists controlled them.
A group of people, who were acting in solidarity with the Palestinian people, questioned Darwish’s fear-mongering and her unqualified support for Israel. They were shouted down by pro-Israel members in the audience, who assaulted a woman, pulled her hair, and forcibly pushed another person over a row of seats. A third person was punched in the face. Pro-Israel members also destroyed a phone that was used to record the assault.
The protestors, some of whom are UNM students and affiliated with the (Un)Occupy Albuquerque movement, used “mic-checking” as a nonviolent tactic to voice their concern against the Islamophobic content of Darwish’s talk. However, they were met with outright violence by members of the audience, who did not want to hear what the protestors had to say. Rather than simply wait for the protestors to deliver their message and leave, as has been the case at similar actions in other parts of the country, the pro-Israel audience members physically forced the protestors out of the auditorium.
It is interesting that the audience members who assaulted the protestors were acting in support of Israel, which claims to be the “most-democratic state” in the Middle East. Freedom of speech is an important part of being democratic, and it is a tragedy that the pro-Israel members did not want to hear what the protestors had to say.