31 October 2023

Hands Off Pro-Palestinian Demonstrators!

On October 26 the Partisan Defense Committee sent protest letters demanding the dropping of charges against scores of pro-Palestinian demonstrators in New York City and we urge others to do the same.

The next day over 300 were arrested at NYC's Grand Central Station—many more are sure to follow. There has been widespread repression against pro-Palestine demonstrations in cities in the U.S. and around the globe, and a frenzied McCarthyite backlash against pro-Palestinian activism around the country, especially on campuses. It is all part of a vile campaign to brand those showing solidarity with the oppressed Palestinian people as being anti-Semitic or even terrorists. These acts of repression represent a threat to anyone opposing the Israeli massacre of Palestinians, which is backed to the hilt by the U.S. and other imperialist powers.

The organized working class is the only force that can really defeat the murderous policy of the imperialists and take a real step towards stopping the current massacre. Trade unions in the U.S., from railway to longshore workers, must take concrete action to stop arms shipments to Israel. The unions must also take actions against the repression of pro-Palestinian groups and demonstrations. These actions must be prepared and carried out against support of genocide by the U.S. imperialist government.

The major impediment to such workers action in the U.S. is the pro-imperialist trade-union bureaucracy who either join the bosses in their "stand with Israel" chorus or who seek to pressure the White House to negotiate a "cease-fire." But a cease-fire brokered by the imperialists solves nothing: it means the continuation of Palestinian oppression and the conditions that led to this crisis to begin with.

Even worse are those union officials who silence and purge members who actively oppose the Israeli atrocities. At least two union activists have recently lost their jobs for speaking out in defense of Palestinians. Tania Singh was terminated from her job as a union organizer for her pro-Palestinian stance. Similarly, Kooper Caraway, a former Service Employees International Union official in Connecticut, was forced to resign his post for speaking in solidarity with Gaza at a rally in New Haven. Union workers must oppose this political censorship and witchhunting. We demand that Singh and Caraway be reinstated in their positions with full back pay!