Sunday, January 25, 2009

Columbia University Community Stands with Gaza

While the international community has been remarkably vocal in condemning the most recent large scale attacks on Gaza's civilian population, the scale of Palestinian death, injury and displacement is largely absent in accounts of the war by US government spokespersons (both the Bush and now the Obama administrations), mainstream media, and even within our own Columbia community.

We are planning a series of events on campus for the coming week of January 26-30. We want to let you know about the first three events we are organizing to kick off the upcoming week (starting Monday, 26 January) and to invite you to join us in standing in solidarity with the people of Gaza during this devastating time.

We want your support to break the silence. These are the most immediate ways in which you can help -

1. Join the Columbia Community in Standing with Gaza - *12 - 1pm on MONDAY, 26 January: LOW PLAZA*

This will be our first, day-time effort to be a physical presence in the center of Columbia's campus. It will be a silent event to extend solidarity from the entire spectrum of communities within Columbia to Palestinians in Gaza. The humanitarian crisis in Gaza has sparked the concern of an incredible range of groups who may identify with the kinds of oppression and violence that have been experienced by Palestinians there. We therefore see this as an opportunity to make visible the solidarity of that range of groups across our campus and New York City, and to hand out fact sheets and talk to our fellow students. As many of you may already know, a handful of groups here at Columbia are voicing support for Israel's attacks on the civilian population of Gaza as well as support for continuing US aid to Israel's military - by holding a rally at this same time on campus! For this reason we think it is all the more urgent for the rest of the Columbia Community to make it clear that these positions do not represent the majority of our views here.


* Make and bring a sign that expresses your thoughts and feelings about the attacks on Gaza. MAKE YOUR PRESENCE KNOWN.

* One suggestion is for as many of us as possible to make signs that will say "________ Stand(s) with Gaza." For example:
o "Columbia Students Stand with Gaza"
o "Jewish Students Stand with Gaza"
o "People of Color Stand with Gaza"
o "Queers Stand with Gaza

2. Candlelight Vigil in Solidarity with the People of Gaza - *5:30pm - 6:30pm on MONDAY, 26 January: SUNDIAL*

This will be the first of a series of vigils that we will hold for 4 nights during the week of January 26th. We are compiling the names of the estimated 1,300 Palestinian dead in Gaza from the most recent weeks of Israeli attacks. We want the Columbia community to participate in reading the names, and to light a candle, as homage to the dead, the thousands of wounded and to the tens of thousands displaced -- many for the second or third time in their lives -- and who are now facing a bitter winter without homes or shelter.

3. Speak Out and Learn About GAZA - Join Students & Faculty Speaking Out - *12 - 2pm on TUESDAY, 27 January: SUNDIAL.

Voice your opinion and learn more about the context, implications and ramifications of the Israeli military attacks on Gaza. This will be an opportunity for all members of the Columbia Community to voice their concerns and perspectives about the crisis in Gaza, its regional and historical context, the role of the United States as well as Columbia University's direct and indirect involvement in the continuing Israeli/Palestinian conflict. There will be faculty, student as well as guest speakers.


* Forward this announcement widely, tell your friends, classmates and any relevant groups.

* Send an email to Kaet at if you or your group would like to *speak* on Tues, 27 Jan.

* Send an email to Kaet at if you or your group would like to SPONSOR the Speak-Out or vigils.

4. Tell as many people as you can

* about Monday's 12 - 1pm Stand with Gaza event,

* about the Candlelight Vigils that will be going on EVERY NIGHT from Monday to Thursday (26 - 29 January),

* about the name readings and about the SPEAK OUT out from 12 - 2pm on Tuesday, 27 January.

* Talk to fellow professors and fellow students. If you're an Instructor/TA, talk to students in section/class. Mail this to any list-servs you belong to. Above all, join us on the this week of action in solidarity with the people of Gaza.

Above all, do not be silent. We have been silent long enough.

Join us.

Join the facebook group here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

would be useful to also post the discussion panel being held on Gaza at Columbia thursday night.

i'm trying to find it myself and came across your blog while doing so.

thx for your work. let's spread the word about all opportunities to learn more and act out!