6 May 2024

Defend SAIC Pro-Palestine Activists!

Shut Down All Campuses!

The pro-Palestine encampment near the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) was attacked and dispersed by Chicago police on May 4, just a few hours after it was set up. Some 68 people were arrested and charged with criminal trespass.

"Progressive" Chicago mayor Brandon Johnson, who has supported pacifist calls for a ceasefire, dispatched his cops to the museum grounds at the behest of the Art Institute—part of a nationwide crackdown on student protest orchestrated by campus administrations and the Democratic Party of genocide. These are the same Chicago cops who in March gunned down Dexter Reed on the West Side in a 41-second barrage of 96 bullets. The mass arrests of pro-Palestinian activists are a foretaste of what the Johnson administration wants to mete out to protesters when the DNC comes to town this summer.

Encampments have sprung up all over the city, from Northwestern to DePaul to the University of Chicago. This is a good start, but the campuses must be completely shut down! We need to mobilize students, faculty and labor unions as broadly as possible in defense of the SAIC protesters. The powerful organized Chicago labor movement—itself in the crosshairs of the Johnson administration—must rally to their defense! A determined pushback against the repression could spark working-class action more widely in defense of Gaza.

Cops off campus! Drop all charges! No reprisals! Free Palestine!