We write this statement of solidarity with Northeastern Students for Justice in Palestine. Boston Feminists for Liberation is a radical feminist group committed to challenging institutional oppression and the intersections of racism, classism, cissexism, heterosexism, bodyshaming, fat hatred, ageism, ableism, and all other forms of oppression. We support both human rights for Palestinians and Palestinian solidarity activists. Israel is a settler-colonial state that has enacted decades of violence against the Palestinian people. It has tried to justified this violence using the rhetoric of women’s liberation. Given actions such as the ongoing sterilizations of female Ethiopian refugees and the sexual, physical, and psychological violence against Palestinian women and children, we find the idea of a feminist Israel to be completely laughable. We want to make it clear: Women’s liberation necessitates the complete liberation of the Palestinian people by any means necessary.
We see the suspension of SJP by the Northeastern administration as part of an ongoing campaign to silence those of us who stand in solidarity with Palestine. Our reasons are as follows:
Northeastern University demonstrated institutionalized oppression by repressing and silencing free speech and dissemination of information by student activists. The role of academic institutions such as Northeastern should be to foster a creative and supportive environment for spreading information on campus, as well as challenging students to think in different ways. We fear that the silencing of pro-Palestinian activism on campus is due to outside right wing pro-Israel political organizations and donors. We are disappointed that Northeastern has chosen to intimidate, silence and suspend the SJP while supporting other student groups and ideas.
We want to draw attention to the initial threat of expulsion of two individual SJP members who happen to be the only two women of color in the group who were distributing the mock eviction notices. As radical feminists, we see this as a product of the military-industrial-prison complex that disproportionately targets women of color, immigrants and minorities. We condemn imperialist violence that upholds patriarchy and fuels misogyny, sexism and violence against women. While charges against these women are still pending, the Northeastern administration has responded to the supporters of these members only by stating that the allegations are false.
We want to emphasize the importance of transparency by the Northeastern administration, and we demand accountability from the administration to demonstrate a stronger commitment to supporting all Northeastern students.
We demand an end to the suspension of SJP and the elimination of all charges, as well as an end to the policing of campus activism and we demand that all of SJP’s demands are met without qualification. We are encouraged by the numerous other SJP supporters, Northeastern students and fellow activists who have stood up to Northeastern administration demanding justice and a better future for the campus. We are united in our support of Northeastern SJP and will continue to raise awareness about the situation and support SJP in any way possible through this difficult situation.
Boston Feminists for Liberation