Last spring, The Nation launched its biweekly student movement dispatch. As part of the StudentNation blog, each dispatch hosts first-person updates on student and youth organizing. For recent dispatches, check out July 1 and July 14. For an archive of earlier editions, see the New Year’s dispatch. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with tips. Edited by James Cersonsky (@cersonsky).
1. After Tariq Khdeir’s Return, Florida Youth Mass for Gaza
Tariq Khdeir is a 15-year-old Palestinian-American living in Tampa, Florida. Earlier this month, he went to visit family in Palestine around the same time his cousin, Muhamad Abu Khdeir, was made to swallow lighter fluid and set on fire by Israeli forces. While attending a peaceful rally in support of Muhamad, Tariq was arrested and brutally beaten by Israeli police, then kept on house arrest. His parents and protesters around the world called for his return home; he was eventually released amid escalating attacks on Gaza from the Israeli military. On July 11, Dream Defenders in Tampa held a press conference with other youth, including Tariq's peers, outside the city's courthouse, demanding his safe return and an end to collective punishment of the Palestinian people by Israeli forces. Outside Florida's capitol—where legislators are pushing anti-BDS legislation limiting people's ability to protest Israeli apartheid this spring—Tallahassee Dream Defenders and Florida State University's Students for Justice in Palestine rallied against the ongoing Israeli assault on Gaza and called for an end to US government sponsorship of Israel.
2. As Regents Blink at Foul Play, Students Rail on Israeli Apartheid—and Zionism at UC
Throughout July, students across California have participated in demonstrations opposing attacks on Gaza, including the largest Palestine solidarity rally in LA history. Earlier this month, the Daily Californian revealed that Avi Oved, the student nominee to the UC Board of Regents, had solicited funding from anti-Muslim political activist Adam Milstein for his prior campaign for student government at UCLA. Following the revelations, the UC Student Association voted to postpone his nomination, Jewish students spoke out against Hillel's facilitation of these donations and students across the UC spoke out against the corrupting influence of outside funding on student governance and against Oved's connection to an Islamophobic donor. During its July meeting, the UC Regents accepted Oved's nomination, despite the UCSA vote, a statewide petition of over 700 students and waves of public comment opposed to his nomination. Regents could see Oved as an ally in the effort to slow or stop the BDS movement at UC.