Witch hunt in universities: support for the Palestinian cause criminalized

This Monday, the president of EHESS declared that he had initiated a report to the State of the Solidaires Etudiant-es press release in order to “make a reminder of the law to the Solidaires Étudiant-es section, while waiting to see the legal action to be taken. » The latter, published following the Hamas attacks around the Gaza Strip, indicated its “unwavering support for the struggle of the Palestinian people in all its modalities and forms of struggle, including armed struggle. In the process, a CNRS researcher was reportedly worried for having relayed the said press release to his colleagues.

A worrying offensive, which is not unrelated to the declarations of the Minister of Higher Education. This Monday, Sylvie Retailleau, in fact, was quick to give the line. “We have seen in recent hours from associations, collectives, sometimes from actors in our establishments, actions and comments of particular indecency. Advocating terrorism, inciting hatred, violence or discrimination are prohibited by law and must be punished”, calling for “all necessary measures to be taken to ensure compliance with the law and republican principles. » In addition, the minister calls for disciplinary sanctions and legal action, even encouraging university management to report any “failure” to the Public Prosecutor.

The target therefore is any student or trade union organization that has expressed support for the Palestinian people in the face of repression by the State of Israel, or in the fight for self-determination. A real witch hunt in the continuity of Darmanin’s announcements on “the possibility of studying procedures for dissolving any structure engaging in reprehensible acts”, and the arrests since Saturday of several people for displaying “banners of support for Palestinians”, again according to the Minister of the Interior.

In other words, the FSE, which explained that it supports “the Palestinian people in their struggle following the latest murderous colonial offensives carried out by Israel. », the NPA having organized actions in support of the Palestinians or Le Poing Levé, a student collective of Permanent Revolution could be sanctioned by university management for their positions. A convenient way for the ministry to attack the right to express and organize and all militant activities in universities under the pretext of “apology of terrorism”.

Repressive instructions which encourage reactionary escalation in universities. In a press release attacking the FSE, the Pirate Union, Le Poing Levé, the NPA and Louis Boyard, the far-right student organization UNI denounces “the silence of universities regarding Israeli victims [which] is deafening and revealing of submission to Islamo-leftism which, we see, is corrupting Higher Education” and “requires concrete measures and an end to the policy of burying its head in the sand on the part of the Ministry of Higher Education and Research to fight against the apology of terrorism and Islamo-leftism. »

For its part, the Union of Jewish Students of France explains: “certain movements, in particular from the extreme left, put this attack into perspective or relay it by apologizing for the crimes” before demanding openly by university presidencies that they repress student organizations that express their support for Palestine, “whether in the form of tags, written messages, on promotion groups or verbally on campus. »

A policy which is reminiscent of the offensive orchestrated by the government against “Islamo-leftism” in universities, going so far as to criminalize research on colonization like the comments of the former Minister of higher education Frédérique Vidal in 2021, or file students with “weak signs of radicalization” at the university of Cergy-Pontoise in 2019.

Faced with these attacks on the right of students to organize and express their political opinion, we must stand together. Beyond the political differences that may exist on the situation in Palestine, this is a crucial democratic issue: while the government is already on the offensive to criminalize students, union activists, environmentalists, young rebels working-class neighborhoods, this attack on student movement organizations should alert us. Against government authoritarianism and the far-right, let’s stand together!

This article is originally published on revolutionpermanente.fr

Previous post Against far-right ideas, a movement of the entire CGT
Next post Hamas attack: “LFI has abandoned the values of democracy” supports Gérard Larcher