November 12, 2021 | OPINION | By Mahnoor Rehman | Photo courtesy of the author
CC Student Justice for Palestine (CCSJP) is a student group on campus engaging with the work of Palestinian activists around the world. In solidarity, the CCSJP joins the resistance against Israeli settler colonialism and racist geopolitical situation in the Palestinian region.
Many coalitions and student organizations have been emerging in institutions across the world to express solidarity with Palestinian communities in their fight against continuous violence and invasion.
While the Palestinian freedom movement is one of the most significant political, social, and ethical resistance movements, the activism on the student body level not only helps in creating awareness about the issue but also pushes people to rethink their biased narratives about the situation and engage with Palestinian activism in whatever way they can.
While interviewing the current leaders of the organization, who wished to remain anonymous due to concerns over their safety, I asked them about their reasons for maintaining the organization at Colorado College. One of the leaders emphasized that the CCSJP was already created before they came to college, and they are hoping to carry it forward.
“We are trying to bring the conversation of the Palestinian cause to campus, and we see there is a huge need of that on the Colorado College campus,” said a member of the CCSJP leadership team.
Another reason for maintaining an organization such as CCSJP on campus is the double standards of liberal education and leftist politics that change its shape and value while focusing on Palestinian resistance.
“A lot of people dismiss liberal values when it comes to the Palestinian cause,” said one of the leaders of CCSJP. There is a need to remind people that selective empathy is cruel and violent.
Last spring, there was an intense coverage of Israeli military violence in Palestine which led to a huge wave of activism and resistance on social media regarding Palestinian freedom, with #SaveShiekhJarrah and #FreePalestine going viral.
The CCSJP organized a protest to raise awareness about this violence and settler colonialism and to show solidarity with other Palestinians.
I asked one of the leaders about their purpose regarding the protest at CC to which they replied, “The reason why we decided to take CCSJP [was] because of the urgency of the situation and the circumstances at the time. There was a climate of hopelessness and helplessness [and] we felt the need to mobilize the community in some sort of way, especially because CC does not have a very political environment.”
Both of the leaders who I interviewed agreed that the student body needs to get political in our stances and have to raise our voice for the Palestinian cause.
As a student also involved in the leadership team, I agree with these points and want to let people know that the Palestinian cause has historically been neglected and is met with violence of erasure.
The narratives must change. Creating awareness, resisting Israeli military violence, and expressing solidarity are just steps in the realm of activism that can make these conversations accessible and common.
When asked about the future of CCSJP and the aims for this year, one of the organizers replied, “For this year, we are trying to create events to help people learn what is happening in Palestine and trying to have a tangible change.”
The CCSJP is an intersectional organization that expresses solidarity with the resistance against settler colonialism and military violence in Palestine and all other states and communities facing similar circumstances.