Photo of ‘This is About Stopping the Genocide in Palestine’ front cover


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This text was distributed at Columbia University during the Gaza Solidarity Encampment.

1.) This is about stopping the genocide in Palestine.

2.) Both political parties are fundamentally committed to supporting the genocide.

3.) To the extent that commitment might waver, Israel is prepared to drag the US into war with Iran, and this might look like a better and better option for one or both political parties.

4.) So this movement to stop the current war on Gaza has to consider that it may have to become the movement to stop the war that is coming to distract us from the war on Gaza.

5.) At the same time, even the liberals, the scholars of bureaucracy, are telling us that the US political system is on a terminal collision course with the November election. This is the spring before the fall.

Once again, we are told to dutifully support the lesser of two evils. But now, choosing the lesser of two evils amounts to choosing which PR campaign you prefer to justify the absolute evil of genocide. There is no lesser of two absolute evils. The logic of the two-party system that has deceived us for generations has finally reached its end.

Under these circumstances, this movement could be our last chance to open up some other possibility before something even worse than democracy is imposed on us.

6.) The question facing all of us now is how to stop the genocide in Palestine. But the only possible answer to this question involves asking how to stop the war machine that is the economy, how to stop the political system that is the war machine, how to stop the universities that are the political system, how to stop it all before it kills more. How to tear it down and not let it build back better. If we dig just a bit into our collective memory, we’ve had some practice with this.

7.) Recently, we’ve seen small groups of people paralyze metro areas for hours using simple blockade tactics.

What if these tactics of grinding traffic and commerce to a halt spread to the scale of the George Floyd uprising? What if we blocked everything? For Gaza and for whoever is next in their sights? For the earth and for the people who come next? For each of us, so that we can live with dignity, knowing that we have done what we swore we would do if ever it came to that?

8.) What happens if we stop everything? Could it really be worse than keeping it going? Could an apocalypse that resulted from our not working to feed the war economy really be worse than the apocalypse that is being created—in Gaza, the ocean, the atmosphere—by our working lives? These are not abstract questions. It really has come to this.

9.) In the last week, we’ve seen the tactic of occupation spread across university campuses at a rate that we can only compare with the Occupy movement over a decade ago. During the fall of 2011, we witnessed and helped to build something we thought was impossible. We are once more witnessing and helping to build the impossible.

Blocking everything for Palestine demands that we rapidly create a set of options for life that are currently beyond the bounds of what is realistic—which really just means “what the police will allow.”

10.) For decades, the Israeli military has trained and been trained by US police departments. Palestine is about everything because Palestine is the model for the cop world they are building everywhere. This is our moment to rise to the task of defeating it.