Source: : Jeremy Lindenfeld/X

On the night of April 30, police stood by as a mob of Zionist extremists were allowed to violently assault the Palestine solidarity encampment at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). The peaceful pro-Palestine protests breaking out across America have been smeared as violent, racist, and antisemitic by the media and politicians of all stripes. But there has been a conspiracy of silence around the real overt racism and extreme violence of the Zionists attacking campuses these past few days.

Armed with metal batons, pepper spray, and raining down powerful fireworks on the camps, the Zionists attacked barricades, trying to physically dismantle the protest site. The students at UCLA, for their part, put up a brave defense, fighting back and preventing the break up of the occupation.

The police, meanwhile, were complicit in the violence. They stood idly by, allowing the attack to occur, simply recording the events or smirking at what was unfolding. Subsequent events would seem to indicate some coordination between police and the far-right Zionist mobs who had been used to soften up the students and create scenes of chaos as a pretext for breaking up the pro-Palestine camps.

Just hours after the Zionist-provoked violence at UCLA, police stormed the camp. In a coordinated move, police in other parts of the country broke up encampments at Yale, Columbia, and elsewhere. At Columbia University in New York, the peaceful camp was broken up by police using rubber bullets, concussion grenades, and other “less lethal” weaponry, and 300 students were arrested. According to some reports, over 2,000 students have been arrested nationwide.

At a press conference the morning after the repression, New York City’s Democratic Mayor Eric Adams addressed the media to once more smear the pro-Palestine protestors as the ones responsible for “violence” and “chaos.”

He then went on to justify the violent repression as part of the battle against the radicalization of the youth globally, implying that shadowy “professionals” have infiltrated campuses:

I’m going to protect the city from those who are attempting to do what is happening globally. There’s a movement to radicalize young people. I’m not going to wait until it’s done and then acknowledge the existence of it. This is a global problem, of young people being influenced by those who are professionals at radicalizing our children. I am not going to allow that to happen as the mayor of the city of New York … Outside agitators are training and co-opting this movement.

We agree with the mayor: this is a global “problem”—for the ruling class. The youth everywhere are indeed radicalizing—against imperialist barbarism, against the violence of the state and the far-right thugs working hand-in-glove with the state, and against the truth-twisters in power and in the media who justify unjustifiable horrors.

But there’s no need to point to “outside agitators” to understand this radicalization. The slaughter that Adams and his friends are backing in Gaza, the violence of the whole system, is radicalizing the youth. The ruling class’ dull-witted attempts to stop this process by crushing it will only spread the sparks of anger further—where they will meet with tinderbox conditions.

The protests are continuing to jump from campus to campus as more join the movement in the US and far beyond. And now UAW Local 4811, which organizes staff at the UCLA and represents 48,000 workers, is threatening strike action in response to the repression.

This is the way forward! The students have the warm sympathy of millions of workers who are looking on at the repression of university administrations, the government, police, and right-wing thugs in horror. We must escalate the action on campuses, in the US and worldwide, in solidarity with Palestine and in solidarity with those facing repression for taking a stand.

Workers must enter this struggle, and they must connect with the students; students must connect with them to strike and protest in defense of the basic democratic rights now being trampled and to spread the working-class action needed to bring the Israeli war machine to a halt. The workers hold the power to stop the gears of the imperialist machine: from the weapons factories, to the dockers that transport the goods destined for Israel, to the university campuses. The leadership of the labour movement must unleash this power.