On Nakba Day, May 15th 2024, we convened a panel discussion on how we can build the movement moment to push for the boycott, divestment, and sanctions of the Israeli-US genocide machine in order to free Palestine, from the river to the sea. As the semester draws to a close, universities with the aid of local police are violently cracking down on camps. Student agency is dismissed by authorities who attribute the encampments to so-called “outside agitators.”

On May Day, police brutally removed students occupying Hamilton Hall, which was renamed Hind’s Hall in honor of six-year old Hind Rajab who was killed with her family by Israeli forces in Gaza. The next day, across the coast, officers wearing body armor attacked the camp at UCLA, launching flares and shooting rubber bullets at students, resulting in over 200 arrests. This was after five hours of violent assaults on students by Zionists — students were beaten with sticks and had chemicals sprayed in their faces — while police watched but did not intervene.

Student activism is inherently ephemeral. How will the current moment retain its stamina through the summer and into the fall semester? And, how will we escalate the student intifada to win freedom for Palestine?

Our speakers included veterans from the 1968 and 1985 occupations at Columbia, Mark Rudd and Omar Barghouti, as well as Maryam Alwan and Soph Askanase from the current insurgency. Yvonne Yen Liu and Mason Herson-Hord from Solidarity Research Center facilitated.