Source: Fightback

On Nov. 10 2023, two student members of Fightback at the University of Calgary (UofC) were harassed by campus security, on spurious charges related to putting up posters on public bulletin boards with the slogans “Intifada Until Victory!” and “Communists Stand with Palestine!”

On that Friday our comrade Logan was called into the Campus Security office, and then interrogated about stickers and posters around campus. Security tried to intimidate him with accusations from the lead investigator that the stickers were “hate speech” and “illegal vandalism”—utterly ridiculous charges which are clearly politically motivated. The posters and stickers in question conform to the guidelines of the UofC Students’ Union. The charge of vandalism is completely false.

The interrogator quickly revealed that the issue was not the stickers, but rather the content of the political messages appearing around campus, making reference specifically to the “Intifada Until Victory” poster. In another attempt at intimidation, he told Logan that he planned to intrude upon the communists’ weekly meeting at the university, threatening to take down everyone’s identification. He also warned him against informing any other members of Fightback, threatening “heightened action” against him if nobody were to show up to our usual meeting. He also told Logan that he would be held personally responsible if any more posters or stickers were put up. 

Our comrade Daniel was then summoned to the security office for another round of interrogation. The lead investigator maintained that spreading “communism” in general constitutes hate speech, and that in Canada this is impermissible, which is blatantly untrue. The investigator himself stated that he had no issue with the stickering and postering, but instead “the political content of the posters and stickers.” He then referred to the Nov. 5 arrest of Wesam Khaled, a Palestinian activist and organizer of a large weekly protest currently taking place in Calgary, to insinuate that similar legal action could be taken against Logan and Daniel. Finally, he informed Daniel that he would be making a report to the Student Conduct Office. These are threats, without legal or statutory backing, and a blatant attempt at political repression, in violation of democratic rights that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms claims to protect.

Source: Fightback

This intimidation of the Palestine solidarity movement is not unique. Across the western world, attempts are being made to present the Palestine solidarity movement as full of hatred, violence, and anti-Semitism. Just this week, the McGill administration published a statement condemning a pro-Palestinian poster advertising a rally for Gaza, and the principal insinuated that Palestinian activists had deliberately shared the poster around the anniversary of an infamous anti-Semitic Nazi pogrom in 1938, the “Kristallnacht”. Even McGill’s Independent Jewish Voices denounced this frankly stupid and absurd statement. These are the kind of ridiculous distortions which are being used against the Palestine Solidarity movement, and which are now being attempted at the University of Calgary. 

We cannot forget that the reason this political suppression is taking place in Canada and all around the world is the widespread support for the Palestinian people against Israeli imperialism. The whole world sees the crimes committed in Gaza broadcast to us, live on the ground. Israel, who we have been told by our politicians is “the only democracy in the Middle East”, has arrested dozens of Jews and Arabs on terrorism charges for expressing even the most ambiguous support for Palestine. An Arab woman with Israeli citizenship who changed her Whatsapp status to “may God grant them victory and protect them” was charged with supporting terrorism. 

Despite the intimidations and propaganda circus in the media, Palestine is igniting sparks of passion in the working class. The events of this month have demonstrated just how deeply and quickly class consciousness grows when the hypocrisy of our capitalist politicians are exposed. We communists condemn the attacks on free speech, and condemn the crimes of the Israeli state against Gaza and the Palestinian people. 

We will not be intimidated. No threats, no lies, no attack on our democratic rights will stop us from fighting against the oppression of the Palestinian people.

Canadian imperialism has blood on its hands!

No to attacks on the Palestine solidarity movement!

Intifada until victory!