Originally published: https://davidrovics.substack.com/p/boycott-sanction-and-divest-video

In solidarity with protesting students, staff and faculty across the US and beyond.

27 April 2024

Watch the video using the link provided above

 “We’re not leaving until our demands are met.”

There has been a rapid contagion of encampments sprouting up on university campuses across the US and in several other countries in opposition to the genocide being carried out against the Palestinian people and in support of the students, staff, and faculty being beaten and arrested in large numbers on so many campuses.  The widespread expressions of solidarity with the Palestinians, coupled with demands for institutions with endowments and investments to divest from corporations involved with facilitating the aerial slaughter of the people of Gaza, are now being represented in the inescapable public eye in the form of encampments in the centers of the campuses.

From what I’ve observed, holding public physical space in the middle of everything like that is a powerful tactic that generally elicits repressive responses from the authorities, and we’ve seen an awful lot of that across the country over the past few days.

The kind of repression that authorities often resort to in the face of people holding public space like that tends to then leads to much larger demonstrations and other developments against this kind of repression.  If the authorities then don’t back off from further repressive tactics, the movement is likely to grow.

These are the kinds of patterns that became firmly established during the Occupy Wall Street movement of latter 2011.  My suspicion is the encampments protesting the war on Gaza have more potential for exploding into something bigger and more sustained than that last effort at taking over public spaces to make extremely sensible and urgent demands, because of the simple and depressing reason that with each new day the world hears new stories of mass murder and mass graves in Gaza.  Each new atrocity is fuel for the next protest.

While “Boycott, Sanction, and Divest” is a song of the moment, there are too many echoes of 2011 in the news lately for me not to reintroduce folks to “Stay Right Here” if you haven’t heard it in a while.

Transcript of the song:

It’s happening now like it has before at the universities in a time of war.
Put people together, they’ll communicate.
Talk about things like college and state.
Talk about the research that built the Iron Dome.
Talk about their relatives starving back at home.
Talk about tuition and where the money’s spent and where all the buildings in Gaza went.
Wake up each morning and the headlines say How many hundreds of Palestinians died
today How many thousands were killed in the past week People get together,
people speak The newscasters say with surety The campuses lack security Meanwhile
Across the ocean wide Palestinian genocide People are saying they won’t leave till
they win And then the police are sent in Beaten and arrested staff and students To
try to silence this growing movement they’re punching
People for making it known that the direct connection can be easily shown.
How the investments of this institution are funding another final solution.
Where goes anyone’s guess?
After all, this is the U.S.
Battles have been lost and won But with bombs being dropped every day by the ton
With the orphaned and famished beneath the sky Waiting for the moment when it’s
their turn to die Some people just can’t look away
They have to set up a tent on the campus and say Boycott,
and divest Boycott,
and divest Boycott,
and divest Boycott,
and divest Boycott,
and divest Boycott,
and divest
Boycott, sanction, and divest Boycott, sanction, and divest