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Announcement :: Human Rights : Palestine : Race
Hundreds of Supporters of Northeastern Student Group Expected to Demonstrate during Campus Visit by Israeli Knesset Members
31 Mar 2014
When: Tuesday, April 1, 2014, 6:30 PM

Where: 342 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA

Tomorrow night, hundreds of students and local activists are expected to protest at Northeastern University with a strong message to the administration: Don't silence Students for Justice in Palestine and applaud the Israeli Knesset. The protest is sponsored by a coalition of 20 Boston-area organizations, and will take place outside of a university-sponsored "town hall" meeting with six members of the Israeli Knesset. The rally will immediately follow a talk by author and activist Ali Abunimah, co-founder and director of the publication The Electronic Intifada, in room 444 of the Curry Student Center,

Earlier this month the Northeastern University administration suspended the Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) group following their distribution of mock "eviction notices" during the internationally-observed Israeli Apartheid Week. Northeastern has developed a track record of increasingly repressive treatment of SJP, and is one of a number of universities facing serious criticism for its denial of constitutionally-protected freedoms to student activists working to end the Israeli occupation.

The school has backed down from expelling two members of SJP who were singled out for disciplinary hearings. Instead, they have been assigned a 500 word-essay on the importance of adhering to school policies. "While SJP welcomes this more lenient punishment, we are not satisfied," said Northeastern Law Student Max Geller. "The status of SJP as a group, the racial profiling that occurred during the investigation, and the pattern of silencing pro-Palestinian narratives remain unaddressed."

The Knesset members expected to speak include representatives from Habayit Hayehudi, or the "Jewish Home," a right wing political party. The Jewish Home party refers to Sudanese and Eritrean refugees as "infiltrators," threatening the "Jewish, demographic constitution of Israel," on their official web site. "We wish to call attention to the double standard of free speech at Northeastern University," said Liza Behrendt of co-sponsoring organization Jewish Voice for Peace-Boston. "SJP is silenced while the administration rolls out the red carpet and gives the spotlight to racist Knesset members."

This demonstration takes place two weeks after 200 protesters rallied to oppose the Northeastern administration's censorship, and will include speeches from a growing list of co-sponsoring organizations, listed on Facebook.

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