Detroit protests U.S.-armed Zionist attack on Rafah, Wayne State students demand divestment

SLL photos: Cheryl LaBash

Hundreds gathered in Grand Circus Park on May 27 to march through downtown Detroit, protesting the recent U.S.-armed Zionist attack that set refugee tents ablaze in Rafah, adding more bodies to the tens of thousands martyred in less than eight months. CNN confirmed that the munitions used in the deadly strike on Rafah were U.S.-made, provided by Genocide Joe Biden.

Passers-by and drivers stalled as the march passed through intersections and waved support for the marchers’ drums, chants, large Palestinian flags, and the many “Abandon Biden” signs.

Two miles away, the Wayne State University encampment demanded that the university administration meet with Palestinian students to discuss divestment. In November, the WSU Student Senate passed a resolution asking the administration to develop investment criteria to ensure the university is not complicit in war profiteering or “investing in companies that knowingly contribute to or benefit from human rights violations in Palestine and around the world.” 

University President Kimberly Andrews Espy’s Dec. 4 response boils down to hiding behind a “fiduciary responsibility” to enrich the independent WSU Foundation and support free speech and exchange of ideas – as long as it doesn’t disrupt the bombs falling on Palestine. 

Students and their organizations’ efforts to put divestment on the Board of Governors’ agenda were locked out or thrown out of meetings by plainclothes police. Only then was the encampment established on May 23. The University administration has now ordered all spring/summer school classes to be held virtually until further notice, essentially closing the university. 

Local press reports that Congressional Representative Rashida Tlaib, the only Palestinian representative in Congress, spent the night at the WSU encampment and urged the university to reopen the school. Tlaib is a WSU alumnus. The African American Studies Department has lent its support to the encampment. 

Despite this support, cops broke the encampment on May 30, arresting 12. On May 21, an early dawn police attack sprayed chemicals on students and violently broke up the University of Michigan encampment in nearby Ann Arbor. But still, they rise to free Palestine.


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