The student group of Central Ohio Revolutionary Socialists (CORS) has been suspended by Ohio State University. They were notified of the suspension following an event they did on campus entitled “Intifada, Revolution, and the Path for a Free Palestine.” The OSU administration sent a letter December 13 alleging that CORS’ “activities pose a significant risk of substantial harm to the safety or security of your organization’s members, other members of the university community or to university property.”
How a meeting to discuss the struggle against a genocidal war by the Zionist state of Israel creates “significant risk of substantial harm” is anyone’s guess. By suspending a student group for speaking out against a brutal war that has even been criticized by the UN, OSU administrators have shown that they are the ones creating “significant risk of substantial harm” to the university’s community. They are endangering the free speech rights of students on campus. Students have a right to bring awareness of injustice that the people of Palestine have been fighting against for 75 years.
As part of a public campaign to get CORS reinstated, activists are circulating a petition demanding that OSU:
- Immediately reinstate Central Ohio Revolutionary Socialists and drop the allegations and sanctions against them.
- Defend the right to free speech about Palestine in this period when McCarthyist-style attacks are taking place with unprecedented frequency.
- Stand against attacks on individuals or organizations advocating for Palestine, whether in the form of smear campaigns conducted by outside groups (like the one which led to the suspension of CORS), or by authorities (such as attempts to clamp down on Palestine organizing by the state or federal government).
Solidarity is crucial to stop the repression against the Palestine solidarity movement. In the face of increased attacks on students and activists, a national campaign should be launched to defeat what is a national effort to stop the movement.
The full language of the petition can be found here. Organizers are asking that it be shared widely.