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Healthcare Workers Stand in Solidarity with the Student Movement against Repression and for a Free Palestine

In response to the repression that university students have faced in the last weeks, we urge healthcare workers and their unions around the world to sign a solidarity letter against repression and for a free Palestine.

Mike Pappas

May 2, 2024
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Healthcare workers at a pro-Palestine rally. Sign reads "Healthcare workds for a free palestine"

Sign the healthcare workers’ statement here.

As a result of Israel’s siege and genocide unfolding in front of our eyes in Gaza, over 34,000 Palestinians have been killed and many more injured. Healthcare workers have watched as the state of Israel, with funding and support of the United States and backed by both Democrats and Republicans, have systematically destroyed every aspect of society needed to maintain life in Gaza. This includes the most important hospitals. Currently, just 12 out of the 36 hospitals in Gaza are functioning, but only partially. Attacks have not abated as, at the time of this writing, Israel is bombarding Rafah. 

People throughout the world have mobilized in their workplaces and on the streets in solidarity with Palestine over the last seven months. Healthcare workers have organized, among other sectors, as it became more and more evident that there’s always money for war and to commit a genocide, but never for things like healthcare or public health. 

Over the last two weeks, students organizing encampments on campuses around the world have represented a renewed shift in the movement. Students’ tenacity, determination, and deeply felt solidarity with the Palestinian people has moved people globally and has the potential of reactivating various sectors of society to fight for a free Palestine. 

But any growth in this movement is a threat to the apartheid state of Israel and other countries that benefit economically and militarily from Israel’s ongoing oppression and brutalization of Palestinians. This is why we are seeing a wave of coordinated repression against the movement for a free Palestine — particularly on mobilizing students. These are part of an attempt to shut down the student movement before it grows any larger.

As healthcare workers, we stand against this repression and we unequivocally support student mobilizations. Just as their schools are tied financially with the Zionist state of Israel and the genocide it perpetrates, so are our healthcare institutions.

And we, as healthcare workers, are not new to seeing state repression. During the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) uprising, we watched as we went from “healthcare heroes” to being brutally repressed on the streets. At that time, healthcare workers mobilizing with other sectors of workers were a threat to Capitalist profits, and thus these protests could not stand. 

Now, the repression students are facing is integrally connected to the repression people mobilizing around the world face. The same cops we have watched brutalize peacefully protesting students over the past weeks are the same cops that militarize our hospitals and hurt our patients. They are the same cops that receive training from the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) brutalizing and killing Palestinians abroad. 

The militarization of our healthcare spaces is integrally connected to the militarization of our streets and workplaces — all serving to repress us when we stand up and fight back. 

Around the world though people are mobilizing for a free Palestine and against the repression they face at the hands of the police. In the last several years, we have all seen how we, the workers, are the ones with the power to make society run. As healthcare workers, for example, as we put our lives on the line throughout the pandemic, our hospital CEOs hid in their condos and did nothing. Now a generation of young students and workers are seeing that we will only get what we need through organizing together in our workplaces, schools, and communities. 

We stand, as healthcare workers, against the repression that students are facing. We stand with them against genocide, and for a free Palestine. It’s time we join and defend student encampments, helping to massify the movement, connecting the might of the working class and social movements.

Sign the statement here.

End the repression!

Free Palestine!

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Mike Pappas

Mike is an activist and medical doctor working in New York City.

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