University Gaza Camps planned with trained activist groups for months in advance: report

May 4, 2024 | Political News

Left-wing activist organizations reportedly helped train many students for months before they began setting up Gaza Camps on college campuses across the country. 

According to The Wall Street Journal, organizers of the pro-Palestinian encampment at Columbia University consulted with the National Students for Justice in Palestine and other veterans of campus protests. They even had several former Black Panthers host a “teach-in” to discuss the importance of handling internal disputes within the organization.  

One of the organizers, Sueda Polat, told the outlet, “We took notes from our elders, engaged in dialogue with them, and analyzed how the university responded to previous protests.”  

The National Students for Justice in Palestine (NSJP) is an organization that has called for protests on college campuses for months and helped organize the protests as well. The organization began calling for a “day of resistance” on campuses as early as October, and more recently warned, “The Student Movement for Palestinian Liberation will not be silenced; we will escalate until our demands are met.”  

The NSJP has more than 300 chapters across the United States with several of them being suspended by universities across the country. They have received significant funding from the New York-based Wespac Foundation for the last decade, which is known to support organizations that promote antisemitism.  

Organizers at Columbia University also attended a training session titled “Resistance 101” which was hosted by activist organization Samidoun: Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network, whose coordinator Charlotte Kates taught the group “to build an internationally popular cradle to the resistance.”  

She also showed her support for the Hamas terrorist organization and said, “There is nothing wrong with being a member of Hamas, being a leader of Hamas, being a fighter in Hamas.” Kates added, “These are the people that are on the front lines defending Palestine.” 

At the University of California, Los Angeles, protesters were trained in de-escalation tactics to be the front line against pro-Israel counter protesters. “There’s a whole set of discipline and procedures that go into it,” UCLA English professor and member of the school's Faculty for Justice in Palestine Saree Makdisi told the WSJ.  

“There’s a different kind of rigor to these students that is really striking,” he added.  

Gaza Camps began popping up on campuses across the country last month, and organizers have demanded their schools divest from any organization that has ties to Israel. In many instances, protesters have clashed with police and even taken over academic buildings.