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The CUNY PSC Must Organize for Palestine

CUNY workers and students are rising up to defend their university against cuts, and to fight for the liberation of Palestine.

Lucien Baskin

March 8, 2024
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On Saturday March 2, hundreds of workers gathered in the pouring rain in Union Square for a “Labor for Palestine” rally. UAW for Palestine, Tech Workers for Palestine, Healthcare Workers for Palestine, and many more ad hoc groups that have been organizing against Israel’s genocide, attended the rally. Speeches and placards raised the demands for a free Palestine, an end to Israel’s assault on the people of Gaza, an end to the siege and occupation of Gaza, and called on their unions to take action for the liberation of the people of Palestine. The following speech is by Lucien, a member of CUNY4Palestine. 

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The CUNY administration has surveilled and repressed Palestine solidarity in our university. They have cancelled events, fired adjunct professors, and even pushed a Brooklyn College SJP rally off campus where it was policed by the NYPD. This repression is the tip of the spear in a war against working class people and people of color in our city. 

Hochul and Adams are trying to kill CUNY—a foundational institution for the city’s working class—by raising tuition and cutting our budget year after year. Our working conditions are our students’ learning conditions, and they are horrific. Class sizes are too large, squirrels, rats, and raccoons live in our buildings, and many campuses don’t even have cafeterias.  

At the same time as Hochul and Adams slash our budget by as much as 30% at some campuses, they have money to pay for hundreds of new cops who train with the IDF, police Black and Brown New Yorkers, and repress Palestinian organizing on campus and in the streets. 

But we won’t let them win. Everywhere that Zionism rears its ugly head it will be confronted. There is no room for Zionism at CUNY. We won’t waiver until we have won BDS at CUNY. 

We must demand more of our unions. A ceasefire resolution is important, but it is not enough. We need to use our power as organized workers to shut down the imperialist war machine. We must demand our unions stop endorsing genocidal democratic politicians. Two days ago the PSC marked one year without a contract. Rank and file workers are organizing at the grassroots, and we will strike not only for a Free CUNY, but for a Free Palestine.

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