NYC students protest against pro-Israel speaker
May 17, 2002 | Page 4
Dear Socialist Worker,
After attending the biggest pro-Palestinian demonstration in U.S. history on April 20 in Washington, D.C., many of us here at Hunter College were surprised to see flyers on our campus advertising a lecture by Daniel Pipes on "Achieving a Lasting Arab-Israel Peace."
Pipes is on the Defense Department's "Special Task Force on Terrorism Technology" and often can be found spreading lies through reactionary articles for the New York Post. Immediately campus activists got together to plan for an action against Pipes.
Pipes got hold of our protest flyer and sent it out on his electronic newsletter. Recipients of his newsletter flooded Hunter College Against War and Racism's e-mail with anti-Arab and anti-Muslim hate mail and threats of physical violence to intimidate us from protesting.
We were not swayed. We felt our protest was more urgent than ever. That's because Pipes' visit came after a string of racist graffiti directed towards Muslim students and an assault on a Muslim woman by a campus Zionist.
As Pipes fans lined up to attend the meeting, a group of 40 of us stood with our signs, chanting "You can kill, you can lie, Palestine will never die." We all sat together booing and heckling Pipes' support for an endless Israeli occupation.
One Zionist called a protester a "son of bitch" and a "nigger." With our chanting, we forced security guards to throw the racist out. Later, we marched out together, chanting "Free, free Palestine"--and then staged an impromptu speak-out.
We exposed Pipes and the Hunter administration that sent police for us when we were protesting racism, yet did nothing about racist attacks on Muslims on campus.
We left confident, knowing that our protest was a small but significant step towards getting the truth out and building a solidarity movement to stop U.S. funding of Israeli apartheid.
Brendan Sexton III, New York City