‘No Freedom of Expression’ – MIT Students Face Expulsion for Supporting Palestine (VIDEO)

The University administration is trying to silence actions supporting Palestine with disciplinary investigations and threats of expulsion. (Photo: via CAA IG page)

CAA urged students and staff to withdraw from companies and research projects complicit in Israeli apartheid, occupation and genocide.

The President of the Coalition Against Apartheid (CAA), Safiyyah Ogundipe, told Anadolu that the University administration is trying to silence actions supporting Palestine with disciplinary investigations and threats of expulsion.

Ogundipe said that she evaluated the banning of support demonstrations for Palestine and attempts by administrators to silence students, especially at MIT and other US universities.

The senior chemical engineering major said CAA emerged as an activism movement against the apartheid regime based on racial discrimination in South Africa in the past and, today, it takes a stance against Israel’s illegal interventions against Palestine.

Ogundipe said the group was established in the mid-1980s as a coalition of students, faculty, alumni, and community members, to demand that MIT end its collaboration with companies complicit in racial discrimination in South Africa.

It was revived after Israeli courts evicted four Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem in 2021, a flashpoint of the escalation of violence between Israelis and Palestinians, alongside the global movement surrounding it.

“CAA’s goals evolved to oppose the Israeli apartheid regime parallel to the struggle in South Africa and to resist the Zionist Occupation as a settler colonial entity,” Ogundipe said.

She noted that CAA has been conducting solidarity actions with Palestine with demonstrations since December.

Defense-Funded Projects

She said that at MIT, there were several sponsored research projects funded by the Israeli Defense Ministry and through the Anti-Apartheid Scientists campaign launched in December.

CAA urged students and staff to withdraw from companies and research projects complicit in Israeli apartheid, occupation and genocide.

Ogundipe expressed that actions in support of Palestine – a ceasefire and boycott demands – have been tried to be thwarted by threats from the MIT administration.

She expressed that CAA at MIT organized protests in response to Israel’s actions, including the bombings in Rafah resulting in casualties. It called on MIT to sever ties with Israeli forces.

As a result, CAA received a warning letter, was suspended and its leaders faced threats of expulsion and bans from leading unauthorized demonstrations. Expulsion from MIT was threatened for further rule violations.

The day after one of the protests was held, “the CAA received a notice letter from the administration saying we had been suspended for holding an unregistered protest,” Ogundipe said.

“And on top of that, those students, we have also been threatened that if we are to violate another policy we will be met with even more serious consequences which can include potential permanent suspension from MIT.”

Struggle Against Injustices

The student leader said MIT Chancellor, Sally Kornbluth, swiftly announced in a video that CAA was expelled from the school.

That raised concerns about freedom of expression, highlighting the struggle of students to speak out against injustices, like the killings and hardships faced by Palestinians.

“If we are being asked to suppress our emotions when faced with the slaughter and starvation of Palestinians at the dime of our government, and with science and technology that could very well come from our institute, then that is not freedom of expression,” Ogundipe said.

She stressed that “We will continue to echo the demands of the resistance and of the Palestinians on the ground suffering through this genocide…We will continue to call for a ceasefire. And complete withdrawal of Israeli troops.”

Adding that “We will continue to pressure our government until there is an end to this occupation.”

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Over 31,000 Killed

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 31,341 Palestinians have been killed, and 73,134 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire.’

(Anadolu, MEMO, PC)

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1 Comment

  1. “MIT Chancellor, Sally Kornbluth”
    Hmmmm. I wonder why there is censorship at MIT regarding this issue. Kornbluth. Is that an Inuit name? Is that a Palestinian name? Is that a Japanese name? Gee, don’tcha think maybe there is a conflict of interest here or something? Hmmmm. Makes you wonder.

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