Statement on the Right to Protest

SFU-F4P Statement of Solidarity with Student Encampments at UBC, across Turtle Island and Globally

(Gratefully adapted from the Faculty for Justice in Palestine statement - - and the Jewish Faculty Network Statement in Support of Student protest -

Inspired by the movements for liberation from apartheid in South Africa and in Palestine, students across the continent and globally have been organizing around the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions for the last two decades. In the last seven months of the Israeli genocide of Palestinians we have witnessed an upsurge of principled, organized, creative and coalitional organizing by students at many universities. Building on proud traditions of mobilization for civil rights, peace, decolonization and environmental justice, students and academic workers call for an end to genocide. Together we call for Palestinian liberation. 

The bravery and ingenuity of students - our students -  teach and lead us. They confront institutional authorities and armed agents of the state with resilience and courage. Most of all, they demand that we keep our eyes on Gaza, on the West Bank, on Palestine, where Israel has killed a Palestinian child every ten minutes, and as we witness the uncovering of one mass grave after another. 

It is in this context that we affirm our support for the student encampment at UBC and the participation of SJP SFU and all SFU students, academic workers, and faculty. We affirm our support for the demands of the People’s University of Gaza at UBC and adherence to the community agreements. We furthermore affirm that all university students must be allowed to peacefully protest one of the central humanitarian crises of our time without fear of disciplinary measures. We reject the weaponization of antisemitism against students and academic workers opposing genocide, which allows the Israeli state to cement its occupation and expand its colonial and apartheid policies in Palestine.

We also believe that faculty solidarity with student activism is entirely consistent with the SFU’s mission of research, pedagogy, dialogue and debate in an atmosphere of social justice and liberation. 

This movement is growing. There may be an escalation of protest and repression at our local universities, as we have seen violence against students by university administrations, campus security, and police forces in the USA and beyond. On some campuses, faculty have played a frontline role, physically and materially. Members of F4P SFU commit to this role and emphasize that now is the time for all of us to step up to support and join the students. They should be able to rely on us to put our voices and bodies on the line. This is a historic, transgenerational moment.